Wynnebrook Elementary School in West Palm Beach has gone green with the help of a $10,000 Green Power Grant from Pratt & Whitney and help of the Wellington Garden Club, the West Palm Beach Elks Lodge #1352 and Florida Atlantic University’s Pine Jog Environmental Educational Center.
The school recently joined thousands of other schools across the globe in hosting a Green Apple Day of Service event. Close to 100 community volunteers spent a Saturday morning transforming Wynnebrook’s courtyard into a sustainable learning environment for students.
The volunteers laid down more than 80 bags of eco-mulch, and planted 250 pollinator-friendly plants, 50 wild native flowers and three butterfly-friendly vines. They also prepared three raised beds for vegetables and herbs with six yards of organic veggie mix soil.
Barbara Hadsell, a member of the Wellington Garden Club and key organizer of the Wynnebrook Green Apple Day of Service, said getting students outside and excited about nature at an early age has many benefits. “Gardening is a great way for students to experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time,” she said. “It helps build their self-esteem and teaches them caring about our natural resources is an everyday activity that takes commitment.”
Mike O’Neill, manager of Systems Engineering Validation at Pratt & Whitney, agreed. “It is a responsibility and privilege to give back to the communities in which our employees live and work,” he said. “I am proud to work for a company that is an internationally recognized leader in green technologies and environmental sustainability, and is engaged in helping schools become green.”
ABOVE: Participants in the recent Wynnebrook Elementary project.