After planting trees at school last year, I really couldn’t wait for the opportunity to do this type of project again. So, in early May my school was supported by the US Embassy, MaiMultVerde (a Romanian environmental organization) and Peace Corps to plant tress AND build a greenhouse! Now, I had never participated in building a greenhouse before but since my school was really eager to do this I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to learn and get my hands dirty. Of course, I didn’t realize the amount of work—more physical of course–the project would take.
If I haven’t demonstrated the amount of support my students have provided me during ANY of the projects let me tell you that they have been the most wonderful students to work with! To me, it seems like my students look forward to volunteering activities, they have so many ideas and are very good problem solvers.
While we had planted trees before at school, the greenhouse was a new project for all of us. First, we needed to collect 1,500 plastic bottles for the walls of the house. In the next week, students started bringing plastic bottles from home. The majority washed and took the label off which made the work later much easier. One Sunday, I went around town with some of my students to collect plastic bottles. It was a hot and exhausting day, but we nicely rewarded ourselves with ice cream :).
Once we had collected the majority of the bottles we decided to start the construction of the greenhouse. I had little to do with putting up the frame, I have no construction background unless you consider putting IKEA furniture together as “construction” , so I left it to the experts and took pictures, something I’m much better at.
The greenhouse took two days to finish…you think that’s a short time, well it is! We were only able to finish the house in such a short time because the entire school had a designated job. While some cleaned the bottles, other cut the bottom of the bottles, some created the rows for the walls and others put up the plastic bottle walls.
I should also mention that it was extremely hot those two days. Highly unlikely for early May but that was our luck! High 80s! We were all exhausted by the end of the second day, one of the teachers told me the following day that she had a nightmare where plastic bottles surrounded her!!!!!! Yeah, they were intense two days but now we can all be proud of the work we completed.
In the following days, the students with the biology teacher planted tomatoes. While I won’t be here to taste them, I can’t wait to hear how delicious they taste.
After all the work was done in the greenhouse, we moved to the second half of the project which was to plant trees. The school decided to create an outside classroom so students can engage in environmental or other outside activities during class time.
We also planted trees in the other school I work, they also created an outside classroom. Other trees were placed in other areas around the school, accompanying the trees planted last year. The project took about three weeks to complete and there is talk of other environmental projects to follow. My final project at school, what a wonderful way to finish up.
One final picture: