Monday, November 23, 2009

Planet Parker

You are going to start hearing a lot more about Planet Parker!

Planet Parker is what we are calling our efforts in educating for sustainable energy and the environment. It encompasses the summer camp programs, science curriculum, trail system, speaker series, teacher education, a panel of experts, and in the years to come, much more!

Its roots come from parent and teacher forums and a Board goal to develop the school property for education. Three years ago, a steering committee wrote a proposal for a Legislative grant for a pilot summer program in hands-on sustainable energy studies. It was awarded in June of 2008 and funding came through in September of 2009.

Last summer we launched the new camp programs. Since June volunteers have been clearing trails to form a 3 K loop with bridges over the creeks and science stations throughout the woods.

With the $90,000 grant money we are upgrading our science lab, building an outdoor pavilion classroom with an amphitheater, and obtaining technology and materials.

We also received a $1,400 grant from the General William Mayer Foundation for a Pedal -a-Watt bicycle system (kids pedal the bike to generate power) AND a three-year gift from a special donor to pay the salary of a coordinator for Planet Parker!

I'll be circulating the job description for the coordinator. If you know of someone who is interested, have them send me their resume.

In the next months we will be putting out a press release, planning a Saturday of hands-on science for parents, and organizing a panel discussion. Our website will also reflect Planet Parker and all its elements.

What a legacy for Parker students present and future!

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