Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Composting, Beehives, Veggie Gardens: Local Schools Get Federal Attention for Environmental Efforts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Composting, Beehives, Veggie Gardens: Local Schools Get Federal Attention for Environmental Efforts

Article excerpt

KIRKWOOD - At Keysor Elementary School, stenciled diagrams that depict yoga poses decorate sidewalk paths through an outdoor area devoted to nature and sustainability. The Kirkwood High football team painted the "downward dog," "cobra" and similar images this summer.

Keysor also features a prairie area of native plants created in 2012 by third-graders who did a "seed stomp." There are five rain gardens to absorb water runoff, a monarch butterfly way station, a bee house and a bird sanctuary.

Students in the Kirkwood district school eat vegetables they grow on site. Other gardens at the school focus on the senses -- lavender and lemon balm are among the plants sprouting in the area devoted to smell, fuzzy lamb's ear grows in the touch garden, and blueberries and strawberries can be found in the taste section.

Keysor is the district's smallest campus, and more than half its green space is dedicated to water-efficient and "regionally appropriate" plants.

"We're landlocked, so we have to be very thoughtful in everything we do," said Principal Alyssa Taylor as she helped lead a tour Thursday showcasing the school's green efforts.

Keysor is one of nine St. Louis-area schools that have been designated as Green Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education and featured on its Green Strides tour. The federal program recognizes schools that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve health and wellness, as well as provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

Other schools featured on the two-day tour this week were Parkway School District's Bellerive, McKelvey and Green Trails elementary schools, as well as Parkway North High School; the College School in Webster Groves; Maplewood-Richmond Heights Middle School; St. Louis University High School and Crossroads College Preparatory School in St. Louis. …

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