Walden III Middle & High School has been a Green School for years. In fact, it was the first school in Racine County to join the Green School Initiative. Now the school’s Green School group believes they can do even more. They are striving to make the school net zero, meaning the school would produce as much energy as it consumes. This would not only benefit the environment, but it could also result in huge cost savings. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, zero energy schools use 65-80 percent less energy
than conventional schools, saving a significant amount of money on utility expenses.
This February the students in Walden’s Green Group met with City of Racine representatives and an architect group to discuss their plans for going green.
“The meeting went really well,” said Jamillah Jallow, president of Walden III’s Green Group. “It was nice to hear that the city has similar goals in regard to being more
environmentally friendly and sustainable. The people that came also had many resources and information that was helpful to us.”
And that’s exactly what the students need to propel their current projects forward and get their new projects up and running to one day achieve this net zero goal. The group
already has a greenhouse in the works and has started growing plants in its newly acquired hydroponic grow towers, both of which can help make healthier food available
to the community. Solar panels and an outdoor classroom are among the other projects they hope to launch, but funding is a major obstacle.
“We are fundraising and applying for grants for hydroponics system supplies, seeds, a greenhouse, solar panels and an outdoor classroom,” Jallow said. “We are growing
plants in the hydroponics system to hopefully sell and use the profits to help fund our projects.”
Ultimately, Jallow says the outdoor classroom space is likely a five-year goal, but she is dedicated to making it a reality.
“Sustainability and environmentalism have always been huge factors in my life. From an early age my family and I have practiced the three R’s to a tee,” she said. “I knew I could use my voice as a young person to stand up for what I believe in and make a change.”
Walden’s Green School group also does weekly recycling, annual tree plantings and more to help improve the environment, create a sustainable school campus and greener community.