Imagine pulling up to a school that has priority parking for low emissions and energy efficient vehicles and proudly displays their school’s wind turbine like a badge of honor. This is a reality for the students of Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph.
YES! teams from Rocori, Foley, St. Cloud Apollo and Eden Valley-Watkins had the opportunity to tour Kennedy Community and see some amazing technologies put to use. One student exclaimed, “it’s amazing how many cool technologies are packed into this one school”. It was apparent that both the indoor and outdoor environment were considered in the construction of Kennedy. Because of the efficient, clean, low velocity air handling units and green building materials used in the construction of the building, people in the building are actually healthier.
The students of Rick Wilson’s YES! team at Kennedy Community led other YES! teams through the school, showcasing efficiency measures such as the 5.4 kWh photovoltaic arrays, the 276 geothermal loop systems, and the efficient lighting system that takes advantage of natural lighting through the use of louvers and reflectors. These are only a few of the many energy efficiency measures presented during the tour.
Teams also had the opportunity to meet with Michael and Martha Port with the Solar Oven Society to learn about the power of solar. The student’s eyes were opened to the many benefits of solar. By relating the solar energy harnessed in their solar cookers to the prevention of deforestation and essentially the promotion human health, Michael and Martha fostered a perspective allowing students to further appreciate the value of their efforts.
Last but not least, Doug Lien of Tri-County Solid Waste educated and entertained the teams on best practices for recycling, composting and waste reduction. Through a series of stories that almost anyone can relate to and that are sure to make you laugh, Doug brought home the fact that land fills should be considered as a last resort with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost, and Waste to Energy all coming before that last and many times avoidable place for waste.
The day was brought to a conclusion with the teams dividing into small groups and meeting together with experts to work through their projects that will soon better the environment in and around their own schools.