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Friday, February 20, 2015

To all Lincoln Healthy Kids Club supporters-

Thank you to everyone who attended the PTO meeting on Tuesday, February 17th.  We know that there were many others that wanted to be there to show your support, but couldn't.  Thank you for your positive energy and continued support!   Thank you for taking a stand in support of the incredible work many Lincoln teachers, students and parents have invested in over the past year.

For those of you who weren't able to attend the meeting, Dr. Eric Brennan presented on the garden and all the accomplishments and some of our future plans.  He did an excellent job (of course)!  He also presented the budget for this coming weekend's garden workday and thanks to all of you who voted to approve $2,000 for the expenses (from the 2014 Jog-a-thon monies).  There was much discussion about the $2,000 from the Western Growers Grants which Margaret D'Arrigo Martin secured for our school garden.  We had hoped to use those grant funds for this coming weekend's workday, but the board wanted more time to review the specifics of those grants.  Never-the-less, we have the money we need and we owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Margaret for procuring the grant monies which we can use for future garden expenditures.

Jenny Cogswell also presented on the $4,000 NOAA grant and the wonderful learning Lincoln students have been experiencing related to becoming an Ocean Guardian School. Thank you to all of you who supported the motion to purchase another water-bottle refill hydration station (up to $2,500 from 2014's jog-a-thon monies), which will be installed in the hallway in front of the teachers' lounge. Additionally, Jenny informed everyone that a third water-bottle refill hydration station has already been purchased from the NOAA grant monies and is waiting to be installed in the playground area!!!!  Soooooo great for our kids and teachers!!!!  She also let us know about the waste audits that Estela Gutierrez (Lincoln parent and Salinas Valley Waste Authority)  has helped conduct on our campus.  4th grade students will be reviewing the findings for the audits and working with Estela to figure out ways to increase our recycling and eliminate waste.  Thank you to Estela, Maestra Leyva & Mrs. Alder!!!!

Again, thank you all for your continued support of the Healthy Kids Club and our school garden. 

Maria Giannini
Co-chair, Lincoln Garden Committee

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ocean Guardian School Grant - Findings from Waste Audit #1

As part of the NOAA Grant we received, we are charged with conducting three waste audits of our school trash and recyclables.  We reached out to Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority, specifically Estela Gutierrez, for help.  Estela is a parent at Lincoln and happens to know a lot about trash and recycling,  thank goodness!  Estela partnered with Maestra Leyva's 4th graders and conducted Lincoln's first waste audit on October 28th. 

Here are some of their findings

Date: October 28, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Place: Lincoln School by the garbage area
Purpose: To find out how much recyclable material is still going into the trash and to better understand Lincoln School’s garbage and recycling waste streams. The school has one, 8-cubic yard garbage dumpster that is emptied 3 times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday which equals 24 cubic yards of garbage capacity per week. During the assessment the 8 cubic yard was 40% full. We assessed 20% of the trash which is equivalent to approximately 2 cubic yard of trash.
Ms. Leyva’s 4th grade class along with the Salinas Valley Recycles staff sorted and weighted the recycling and garbage. The objective of this audit was mainly to identify materials that were being generated on a daily basis and identify opportunities for reducing waste and improving the existing recycling program. The lessons learned during this will be passed on to school to improve the diversion program at the school. 

Waste Assessment Findings:
Food scraps, mixed paper and milk waste were the top 3 recyclable or recoverable materials found in the assessment and represent over 50% of the sorted waste stream.

Food Scraps can be diverted. Most of the apples found were uneaten. Consider promoting “take what you want –eat what you take” message. Encourage students, staff and faculty to not take food if they are not going to eat it. If students bring a meal from home, encourage them to pack a waste-free-lunch. Cutting fruit like apples, bananas, and oranges into smaller pieces can also significantly reduce the amount of food waste.
Ms. Leyva class has a worm compost system and some of the food can be separated for the worms but since there is a lot of food wasted a commercial collection program is recommended. Weekly food scrap collection service is provided by Republic Services. Food scraps collection fees are lower-priced than trash collection.
Mixed paper can be recycled in the recycling bin. It looks like some of the recyclables from the classrooms are being emptied in the trash dumpster. There were bags full of paper in the trash. Recycling training for the custodian crew, staff, students and faculty can be provided by Salinas Valley Recycles.
Leftover Milk Waste can be diverted in a bucket or container and disposed of in the sewer system. Removing milk from the garbage dumpsters will also reduce dumpster corrosion, and potentially decrease insect problems in the garbage dumpster area. Encourage your students to drink all their milk or ask that they not take it if they are not going to drink it.
Yard waste can be diverted into a yard waste cart. Yard waste collection can be arranged with Republic Services.
Milk Cartons (empty) can be recycled in the recycling bin. In the cafeteria, the school can set up a bucket or plastic container for the students to empty leftover milk and place a recycling container lined with a clear plastic bag to recycle all the empty milk cartons. Encourage your students to drink all their milk or ask that they not take it if they are not going to drink it. A recycling
container to recycle the milk cartons can be provided by Salinas Valley Recycles. 5
Rigid Plastics (clean and empty) can be recycled in the recycling bin. Most of the plastic was cereal bowls.
Wrappers/Packaging (clean and dry) can be recycled in the bag-in-bag program and recycled in the recycling bin.
Juice pouches (empty) can be recycled in the recycling bin or the school can participate in the Terracycle program
Zip Lock Bags (clean and dry) can be recycled in the bag-in-bag program and place in the recycling bin. Reducing waste is more important, the school can encourage students and staff to bring their snacks or food in reusable containers.
Plastic Bags (clean and dry) can be recycled in the bag-in a bag program and place into recycling bin. Reducing waste is more important, the school can encourage students and staff to use reusable bags for groceries and produce or buy stuff that doesn’t come in a plastic bag.
CRV- Water Bottles and Aluminum Cans can be recycled in the recycling bin. There were 8 plastic water bottles and 2 aluminum cans found in the trash representing approximately 1% of the waste stream.
Unopened Items were found in the trash like cereal bowls, quesadillas wrapped in plastic bag, snacks, and milk cartons.
Salinas Valley Recycles can continue to provide training to custodians, staff, faculty and students to help the school divert the waste that still going in the trash. We can assist to train an environmental group or green team that will help divert waste daily during lunch time. The team can support the Lincoln recycling program by assisting classroom that need help with recycling and to continue providing education on what items are recyclables and how the recycling program works.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Garden Work day - Saturday, Feb. 21st, 9am-2pm!

The next garden committee meeting will be held on Thursday, February 12th, 11:30am-12:30pm in the garden courtyard at Lincoln.  Please RSVP if you plan on attending, as we will provide sandwiches for all attendees.  

Mark your calendars for our Garden Workday supported by the Junior League of Monterey County on Saturday, February 21st, from 9am-2pm (come as early or late and stay as long as you can).  Children are welcome and we will have arts/crafts for the little ones.  Snacks will be provided.

We want to give a big shout out to Eric Brennan for planting all the kale in all the garden beds.  The kale is just about ready to harvest and we are excited that every class will have the opportunity to taste the yummy kale!

Many thanks to the dedicated parents, students, teachers and administrators that are helping the garden project come to fruition.  As we all know, this is a long range project and we continue to make considerable headway towards our vision!  Everyone's hard work is greatly appreciated and valued.