Partner: Big Green
Group Members: Alexis Ancel, Christina Manian, Lindsey Beatrice, Liz Holland
Over the course of this project, MENV students will be assisting Big Green in improving their current Learning Garden models. In consideration of the many factors relevant to improving Learning Garden designs, the team decided to narrow their scope of work specifically to sustainability. Sustainability is a broad term in this context, so the student team collaborated with Big Green to refine their definition of sustainability for this project. Collectively, they came to a three-fold definition. The first element is sustainability of materials, including the pros and cons of available options such as concrete, wood chips, grass and rubber mulch. The second is sustainable indoor gardening systems that improve water conservation and protect against adverse weather conditions. The third is improving maintenance and engagement practices to increase school participation, ensuring longevity of the gardens and therefore improving sustainability. These goals will inform tasks that contribute to the Capstone deliverables, which include a virtual design charrette, cost analysis of alternative building materials and designs, comprehensive sustainability report of Big Green products, recommendations, and an application and awarding process for indoor gardens.