Archive for August, 2013

Meet the Melrose Environmental Projects Interns

Have you met the summer Environmental Projects interns yet? For the past two months, they have been working on various projects for the Department of Public Works and the Planning Department. The interns were supervised by Jessie Schmitt, Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator, and Martha Grover, Energy Efficiency Manager. They participated in job shadowing municipal employees, field trips, community events and working closely and independently on many environmental projects. Keep an eye out for their interesting work around the city.

Thank you to all of the interns for their hard work this summer, you have made a difference in making Melrose a more sustainable community!

Madeleine Frasca

Madeleine headhotMadeleine, a 2013 Melrose High School (MHS) graduate, is headed off to Boston University this Fall. She has spent her time as an intern working on improving the environmental scene at MHS focusing specifically on reducing plastic water bottle waste, promoting the school textile recycling program and updating the Sustainable Melrose website. We wish Madeleine the best of luck as she begins college where she hopes to get involved in BU’s sustainability initiatives and study city planning.

Alisha Park

Alisha headshotAlisha, a 2013 college graduate, moved back to the Boston area after attending Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. During her time at college she was a member of the student-lead Recycling Committee. As a member, she worked to reduce waste in the dining halls by eliminating Styrofoam and plastic items (as shown in picture). Through her internship in Melrose, she focused on promoting the school textile recycling fundraiser, community education and outreach, creating a green education program at the Melrose Public Library and writing a guest column and blog post in the papers and on this blog. Make sure to check out her library program when it launches in the Fall and keep an eye out for her article in the newspaper. We know Alisha will do great things as finishes her intern work in Melrose and follows her career dreams to create a more environmentally sustainable future by creating energy efficient buildings.

Nicole Cirino

Nicole's headshotNicole, a 2013 college graduate, just moved to Melrose this summer after attending Framingham State University. As an undergrad, she studied environmental science and concentrated on wildlife conservation. She wrote her senior thesis on municipal solid waste management and waste to energy facilities in Massachusetts. Through her internship in Melrose, she focused on community education and outreach, researching biodiesel options for the DPW vehicle fleet, creating a new resident recycling program and writing a guest column and blog post in the papers and on this blog. Nicole has done great work for the city and she will surely make a positive environmental impact as she moves on to hopefully work in wildlife education.

Liam Pierce

Liam, a sophomore at Melrose High School in the STEM Pathway Program, spent his time working to improve communication for the newly formed Sustainable Melrose Coalition and Melrose Energy Commission, assisting in the creation of a solar map of Melrose, reducing water bottle waste at the high school and data entry and tracking of recycling information. Liam hopes to make a difference at MHS by improving recycling and aiding in forming the Environmental Club.

Tour of Solar Panel Project on Melrose High School and Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School




Neighborhood Night Out at Gooch Park

Last night was another fun Neighborhood Night Out at Gooch Park. The Recreation Department organized many fun events this summer and this was their last one. Thanks to the Rec. Dept. and to all the residents who came and enjoyed the events! We hope you had fun and we’ll see you next summer!

Neighborhood Night Out Gooch 10 Neighborhood Night Out Gooch 9

Neighborhood Night Out Gooch 8Neighborhood Night Out Gooch 9 Neighborhood Night Out Gooch 3Neighborhood Night Out Gooch 1

Summer Neighborhood Night Out

We had a lot of fun at the Recreation Department’s Neighborhood Night Out at the Roosevelt School. The Melrose Recycles table had a Melrose Recycles bean bag toss, a “Are You a Recycling Hero?” trivia game and free stickers and giveaways. Hope everyone had as much fun as we did! We’ll be at next week’s event at Gooch Park – see you there!

Neighborhood Night Out Roosevelt 7

Neighborhood Night Out Roosevelt 1

Neightborhood Night Out Roosevelt 2
Neightborhood Night Out Roosevelt 3

Neightborhood Night Out Roosevelt 4

Neightborhood Night Out Roosevelt 5

Neightborhood Night Out Roosevelt 6

CommuniTree Art Video

Did you catch the CommuniTree Art video on MMTV? Check it out here.

CommuniTree Art Logo

Worm Composting at Horace Mann School

Some people may think of worms as squirmy, gross critters living in the dirt. But did you know that they are excellent composters? Some even call them earth’s natural recyclers. Worms eat food scraps quickly and create manure that promotes plant growth and is perfect for composting.

WormsThrough a special partnership with the Department of Public Works, the Horace Mann School ran a yearlong sustainability project focused on worm composting. The school’s fourth-grade classes participated in this program, the first of its kind in Melrose.

Horace Mann was chosen for its previous commitments to green initiatives. The school recently held a “Go Green” Earth Day Fair, has a community garden and applied for the national Green Ribbon competition.

“My co-teacher and I were excited to be chosen as the first school in Melrose to take on the worm composting sustainability project,” said Melissa Giordano, a fourth-grade teacher at the school. “I was particularly interested in giving my students inquiry-based opportunities for real-life connections to their lives and their impact on the environment.

“The project was just that, a tangible representation of living more sustainably. Though we were somewhat apprehensive to have worms in the classroom, unsure of how they would look and smell or how clean or dirty they would be, the project turned out to be a great success and extremely beneficial to our students’ understanding of composting and sustainability.”

Observing wormsEach fourth-grade class had a large bin containing worms and bedding (shredded paper, leaves and dirt), and each student had an individual bin to maintain for the year. The worms were watered, fed and kept in a suitable environment as the students eagerly watched them grow and change over the course of the year. In conjunction with this project, various environmental topics were taught in the classroom, including solid waste and recycling, worm anatomy, and sustainability.

The students participated in experiments and wrote about their experiences in their “worm investigation journals.” Some students even named their worms and drew pictures of them eating the food placed in the bin.

In May, the compost was harvested and placed in the school’s raised-bed community garden. Each grade has one raised bed and can plant whatever the students like. The fourth grade decided on a red, white and blue theme, which resulted in planting a mixture of vegetables and flowers. As part of one final experiment, the compost was placed in certain areas to see if it would help the plants grow. The plants will be observed over the summer and results of the experiment will be reported in the fall.

“It was exciting to be part of the composting project as it connects with our work in the community garden and our commitment to educating the community about green living and a sustainable lifestyle,” said Mary Ellen Carideo, Horace Mann principal. “I am grateful for the collaboration between community agencies and small businesses that help my teachers and I expand the walls of our classrooms.”

The learning doesn’t have to end with the sustainability project at the Horace Mann School. All Melrose residents can reduce their waste by composting food scraps and other materials. DPW sells backyard compost bins each spring and worm composting companies can be found online.

For more information about composting, call the DPW Office at 781-665-0142.

GardenGarden work 1

Garden workApple experimentStudents with individual bin