On September 26, a group of thirty or so IMSA students, alumni, and staff participated in renovating the Hex Slab behind No Pond for Green Apple Day of Service. Green Apple Day of Service is an initiative started by the Center for Green Schools in the US Green Building Council in order to promote sustainability in school environments. This worldwide movement inspires communities to transform their schools into cleaner, safer, more energy-efficient places.
Working with the Energy Center, volunteers began the construction of a solar-powered pavilion at the Hex. Volunteers were split into three groups: the landscaping team, the picnic benches team, and the pavilion team. The landscaping team worked to clean up the area around No Pond and to rid it of invasive shrubbery. Professional landscapers led this group by cutting down the invasive plants near the Hex slab and student volunteers cleared the underbrush. Not only did this help balance No Pond’s ecosystem, it also created a much more visually appealing scene; students can actually see the previously hidden-amongst-the-grass Hex. The picnic benches team and the pavilion team assembled the actual pavilion. They worked with staff members and adult volunteers to ensure that the posts of the pavilion were aligned properly.
Situated behind No Pond, the pavilion has appropriately been named the “Know-vilian”. When finished, the Know-vilian will measure thirty by thirty feet and have solar-powered cellphone chargers. IMSA students will eventually be able to sit on picnic benches, relax in the shade, and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of No Pond—all while charging their cellphone.
The day culminated with lunch and a few words from IMSA alumna Juanita Garcia, who works in energy and green building design. She shared her own experiences at IMSA and her career path afterwards.
Overall, Green Apple Day of Service showed the importance of thinking about sustainability and bonding as a community for a common purpose. The volunteers spent the Saturday morning outside and really connected with each other and the school. The Know-vilian is this year’s improvement to the IMSA campus, and it is satisfying to know that the student body will soon benefit from it. That day, the volunteers brought a symbol of collaboration and renewable energy to IMSA that future generations to come will enjoy. The Know-vilian will soon stand harmoniously blending green innovation with its natural landscape—and hopefully it will be a reminder that we should all connect to nature and strive to protect it.