Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Downtown HS's culminating projects pass on the story of environmental justice to elementary school students!

Downtown High School's WALC (Wilderness, Arts, and Literacy Collaborative) had been partnering with LEJ's Heron's Head Park program all semester long, returning multiple times for hands-on service learning field trips. From the very beginning of the semester, the high school students - many of which didn't succeed in the traditional school system yet thrive in WALC's more relevant, interactive approaches to learning - knew that their final projects would include working with little kids. But were they ready?

At the beginning of the semester, the WALC students met their audience: elementary school students. They read to them children's books to see what they would be interested in. Throughout the semester, the WALC students layered their skills - drawing nature images, learning scientific concepts, digging deeper into environmental and cultural ethics - in order to create their own children's books and activities for the same elementary school students. The results? An amazing day of exploration for the little ones and the teens in which WALC students passed on their own stories of environmental justice. LEJ staff sat back and watched the transformation of all the students unfold at the EcoCenter and Heron's Head Park.

Check out pictures of the various stations that the WALC students set up. The elementary school students divided up into manageable groups and rotated through each station.

Here come the little ones!

One of the stations was habitat restoration in the transition zone next to the wetlands.

In another station, WALC students read the books that they wrote and
drew to elementary students on the EcoCenter's back patio.

At this station at the "Stumping Grounds" in the park, WALC students
used maps to explain Bayview Hunter's Point's history of environmental
pollution  and injustice... as well as its residents' resiliency to demand change.

More opportunities for reading indoors in the cozy EcoCenter.

Much appreciations and props to lead teacher, Catherine Salvin, and lead LEJ staff member, Raynelle Rino, for making the partnership happen!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

CCSF uses the EcoCenter as a "living laboratory"

Earlier this month, City College of SF instructor Yeggie Dearborn came to the EcoCenter to collect water samples from the wastewater treatment system to demonstrate to students appropriate water sampling techniques and the significance of various water quality indicators. This hopefully will pave way for a deeper long-term relationship with CCSF in which students use the EcoCenter's unique systems as inspiration for monitoring or research projects. We love working with CCSF!

CCSF Instructor Yeggie Dearborn

CCSF students intently capturing water sampling testing techniques as they observe Yeggie.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Samples taken for the beginning of wastewater treatment testing

It’s Halloween at the EcoCenter, and the first-year sampling and testing of effluent from the EcoCenter’s on-site wastewater treatment system has begun.  SF Water technicians are shown drawing a sample from one of the treatment tanks.

SF PUC staff hope to use their experience at the EcoCenter to compare the results with that of the larger planned on-site wastewater treatment facility to be installed in the SFPUC’s new headquarters downtown.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Living Building Challenge comes to the EcoCenter

On August 30, the Living Building Challenge hosted a 6-hour long workshop at the EcoCenter on an in-depth introduction on the philosophy and rationale of the building certification and strategies to obtain it. Attendees included the green building leaders in their community: design professionals, contractors, developers, owners, government officials and employees of public agencies. Thank you to the International Living Future Institute (parent organization of the LBC) for choosing to rent and support the EcoCenter! 

Source: Bullitt Center

Sunday, May 22, 2011

LEJer featured in Exploratorium's media channel!

You MUST check out, Jasmine Dow - former LEJ youth, current LEJ Americorps/Public Ally, and future health professional in the name of environmental justice! Watch this audio slideshow that the Exploratorium created as a part of their online media series, Driven. Jasmine talks about her personal and political journey with LEJ, Heron's Head Park, and the EcoCenter... reminding us that there is no such thing as "away" and the vision for environmental justice in Bayview Hunters Point.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Living Roof is alive!

Check out the beautiful colors exploding from the EcoCenter's living roof! The same folks who designed the Academy of Sciences' living roof - Rana Creek - designed the EcoCenter's roof. Why is the EcoCenter's living roof a little more colorful and robust that the Academy's? The roof installers, Habitat Gardens, laid irrigation lines from in the soil so that the plants are directly watered at the roots! Less water loss than a sprinkler system! In addition to using rainwater, subsurface irrigation is another way that the EcoCenter is reducing water use

LEJ staff recently conducted methane monitoring from the vents on the roof with an intern from Treadwell and Rollo, Shante Austin, who is also a former LEJ youth now studying Environmental Studies and Africana Studies at SF State University. We're excited to continue to work with Shante in this new capacity in which she's sharing with LEJ her new expertise!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Every day is People's Earth Day!

What an eventful month of April!

For LEJ's People's Earth Day, we hosted over 75 students from local schools, 8 different youth science/environmental organizations, and a variety of partners to make a successful PED full of environmental education activities and hands-on the land service. Music, food made by local caterers, hands-on activities, poppy costume, solar-powered water fountain, ZooMobile with an owl and oppossum - we had it all!

Click here for more pictures of the celebratory day!

At the EcoCenter, LEJ is rounding out its year-long series of teacher/educator trainings by collaborating with BMagic (Bayview youth nonprofit collaborative) on a training to incorporate science and the environment into youth programming on May 4 (more pics here).

LEJ's last teacher/educator trainings will occur in collaboration with the Planet Drum Foundation focusing on bioregionalism and low-impact designs (LID). See LEJ's website for more details and registration info.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

CORRECTION: Welcome to the NeighborHOOD opens April 9!

Sorry for the confusion.

Welcome to the NeighborHOOD art gallery reception opens Saturday, April 9! Contact Wendy Tetsu at wendytestu@mac.com if you have any questions.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Welcome to the NeighborHOOD art gallery reception on April 9!

The collaboration with youth from Literacy for Environmental Justice and and community artists has culminated in the creation of an interactive installation at the EcoCenter!

The Multidisciplinary Artwork was created over the past two years and explores environmental and social justice issues facing the community of Bayview Hunters Point, as seen through the youth’s eyes. Come celebrate with the community the long awaited convergence of the art installation at the EcoCenter.

Saturday, April 9 from 12-2pm
EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park
Cargo Way and Jennings St., San Francisco, CA 94124

During the opening event:

~ View the full installation of all the artwork
~ Enjoy light refreshments
~ Partake in a youth lead docent tour of the artwork and the Ecocenter.
~ Purchase the artwork and Volume #3 of the photo documentary book about the project:

All proceeds will go to Literacy for Environmental Justice and the EcoCenter. Check out the Facebook event page for more info!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Enviro Ed and Training Partnership profiles LEJ!

Check out this thorough profile of LEJ and the EcoCenter on the Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP) website, a EPA-funded project connecting environmental educators and local and state policy-makers!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Water quality from living roofs

Great blog article talking about the water quality of rainwater collected from vegetated roofs versus roofs made from traditional materials (asphalt-fiberglass shingles, Galvalume® metal panels, and concrete tiles). The research on water quality was done in Austin, Texas at Lady Bird Johnson (LBJ) Wildflower Center in Austin, "home to one of the first green roof research plots in the state, testing various commercial green roofing systems and other cool roof technologies over the course of many a hot, Texas summer."

The quick one sentence summary: rainwater collected from vegetated roofs have lower turbidity, nitrates, coliform and heavy metals but higher conductivity, dissolved organic carbon. What does that mean? Some stuff that typically ends up in runoff and stormwater is reduced with vegetated roofs. Yay!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

EcoCenter is avaiable for rentals!

Click here to download the rental packet. Email tracy.zhu@lejyouth.org with any questions and calendar availability.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bay Nature covers the EcoCenter

Happy lunar new year to you all! Hope you're celebrating with your family and ushering in a new year full of prosperity and health.

The EcoCenter is ushering in a new year of good press. The EPA Environmental Justice Award has gotten the word out about the EcoCenter. Check out the Bay Nature article that also go reposted on the Bay Citizen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Teachers getting their hands dirty with the Science of Sustainability

Happy new decade from the EcoCenter!

Teachers from Bayview to the larger Bay Area gathered at the EcoCenter in the 2010 fall semester for the year-round professional development series, the Science of Sustainability. LEJ collaborated with the Exploratorium's Teacher Institute to develop curriculum on sustainability topics inspired by the EcoCenter. The three themes in the fall were water, energy, and planting. Check out the pictures of teachers getting elbows and knees deep in hands-on activities.

If you're a grade 6-12 teacher (especially in SF public schools), check out our spring workshops on sustainable plant adaptations, food justice, and astronomy. Here are the descriptions and registration info of the remaining Science of Sustainability workshops. Email Tracy at tracy.zhu@lejyouth.org if you have any questions.