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FPHE Green Team Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary

FPHE Green Team Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary


The Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education (FPHE) Green Team celebrates its five-year anniversary this year.  

Launched originally as part of the Pleasant Hill Education Initiative (PHEI) in April 2013, the Green Team was integrated into FPHE in 2015.  Team members include teachers, parents, community members, and even the occasional principal, vice principal, and student, all working to support and encourage organic gardening, healthy food & nutrition, recycling, and sustainabilityin the Pleasant Hill schools. The team meets at a different Pleasant Hill school every month and also serves as an outreach and networking facilitator between schools and the community.  


Organic gardeningat the schoolsgrew this year when College Park High School (CPHS) parent Victoria Naulleau coordinated the cleanup and planting of drought tolerant natives in the CPHS raised beds (pictured). The CPHS Earth Club, led by student Diego Trovato, also seeded one bed into a dense swath of lovely flowers. Gregory Gardens Elementary's garden (pictured) was rejuvenated by parent Morgan Foster, 1st grade teacher Mrs. Hagstrom, and students after they planted six existing raised beds. Morgan's husband, Kyle, built three more beds, a pumpkin patch, and a great harvesting scale tower. A devoted group of amazing parents adopted the garden, too, helping each week with maintenance, upkeep and harvesting -- 12 lbs. on August 5! (pictured) and over 250 lbs. for the year.


To promote healthy food and nutrition,the Farm to Schools program, led by Science Educator Tamara Helfer, started in 2017-18 at five MDUSD schools, with Fair Oaks as the only school in Pleasant Hill. The program is expanding in 2018-19 with a "lite" version in three more schools, including Gregory Gardens Elementary. 


The team supported the recyclingambitions of students and encouraged the district to comply with California law requiring recycling and composting at CPHS, PHMS, and VVMS by January 2017 and the remaining Pleasant Hill schools by January 2019. The Strandwood Parents' Green Team launched cafeteria compost/recycle/landfill sorting right after Earth Day 2018 and went from six landfill carts to two in just the first week. Students in the Gregory Gardens Green Team, under the supervision of 4th grade teacher Michelle Miller, presented their cafeteria waste-sorting program to each 2nd and 3rd grade class and then launched with the 2nd/3rd lunch in May. They've expanded to the whole school now. 


The most memorable project insustainabilitywas a presentation on climate change by professional skier/snowboarder Ralph Backstrom, a member of Protect Our Winters, and how it has affected his snow dependent career and family. His video thrilled 300 Pleasant Hill Middle School students in 2014, and you can see it here:  


For more information, visit the Green Team website: If you'd like to join the team or have projects you'd like to lead in the schools but need help with labor, expertise, or finding the right person to work with, contact Green Team coordinator Liz Fisher at [email protected] or 925-937-1869.