It all began on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at the Muskegon County Water Festival that was held at the USS Silversides Museum which resides on the south side of the Muskegon Channel near beautiful Lake Michigan. The water festival is in its 2nd year and is for all third graders in the Muskegon and surrounding areas. This year our USGBC West Michigan Chapter hosted a learning station and Kelly Rice of GEI Consultants shared her knowledge about native landscaping for the morning sessions and Erik Cronk and Jeremiah Johnson from AGR Green Architecture talked about green/vegetative roofs in the afternoon sessions. The sessions were 25 minutes long and there were eight total session with groups of 20-30 3rd graders coming through each session. This was a great learning experience for all (including the adult presenters!). There was no lack of curiosity and questions from the kids. When something struck them you could see their faces light up and hands shoot up in the air to ask questions.
Activities continued on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the new Muskegon Farmers Market through the Power of Produce Club for Kids where more than 150 kids participated. Here we celebrated Green Apple Day with educational opportunities through lessons about healthy eating and taste testing some vegetables and herbs that many kids may not have tried in the past (and yes we had some adults tasting things they have never tasted before either). Other activities included learning about marine life, green schools, farmers market bingo, and making vegetable bookmarks. State Senator Geoff Hansen and State Representative Collene Lamonte were on hand to present a Legislative Tribute to us for Green Apple Day that was signed by both of them as well as State Representative Marcia Hovey-Wright. We were glad they could celebrate with us and encourage all children and schools in Michigan to take part in Green Apple Day of Service. The West Michigan Symphony also brought this program to the kids with Click Clack Moosic, a children’s concert series using books by author Doreen Cronin. The program invites children (ages 3-7) and their families to a live musical-story time event. The weather was perfect and the energy was high!
Renae Hesselink, CPIM, LEED AP BD+C
Vice President of Sustainability, Nichols
Green Apple Day of Service Chair, USGBC West Michigan