Students at New York’s Public School 216 are about to get a real education in sustainability, hands on. A new project slated for the school called the Edible Schoolyard incorporates both indoor and outdoor spaces that demonstrate green concepts on multiple fronts with a focus on growing and preparing food.
According to Arch Daily, the Edible Schoolyard project was designed by Work AC in collaboration with Edible Schoolyard NY and the Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation. Designed as a series of interlinked sustainable systems, the heart of the project is the Kitchen Classroom, a building where up to thirty students can prepare and enjoy meals together. The kitchen has a butterfly-shaped roof that channels rain water for reclamation; connected to one side of it is the Mobile Greenhouse, which extends the growing season (and the Kitchen Classroom) in the colder months by covering 1600sf of garden space and sliding away in the spring. On the other side of the building is a series of spaces that include a cistern, space for composting and waste-sorting, solar batteries, dishwashing facilities, a tool shed and a chicken coop.
Part of a growing movement to introduce children to where their food comes from, this project also has an added bonus: food. There’s nothing to give you a taste of sustainability like the flavor of a home-grown tomato. Considering how bland cafeteria food tends to be, PS216’s Edible Schoolyard seems destined to generate a whole lot of teachable moments.