The Green Eggs Wetland Project is so unique and exciting that it would provide a great opportunity for local teachers and students to participate in the art, science and public process of building this space. We propose a teaching module that would engage Greenpoint public schools in the planning, design and subsequent use of this new waterfront destination. The module would be tailored to be suitable for K-12, with particular focus on the more advanced themes of stormwater management and environmental remediation for grades 6-12. The module would be offered to science teachers, environmental clubs and after school programs. In developing the module, we will collaborate with public school teachers to make it as compatible as possible with their existing scope and sequence.
The first introductory visit of this module would present the Combined Sewer System and Combined Sewer Overflow. Utilizing the “Sewer in a Suitcase” tabletop model (developed by Center for Urban Pedagogy), the students will become familiar with the basic function of our existing drainage infrastructure as well as the basic concepts of watersheds and stormwater management (Green Infrastructure). The model work is followed by an exercise that brainstorms ideas for Green Infrastructure (tailored to age group). This session closes with a sharing of work, including the Green Eggs Wetland Project.
Subsequent visit(s) would focus on Newtown Creek and East River-specific issues, following a “Sewershed Walk” developed for the module of points of interest in the Newtown Creek drainage area (the highest point at Ridgewood Reservoir, Green Infrastructure in Bushwick, the largest CSO at Metropolitan Ave, Newtown Creek Nature Walk etc.) to develop an awareness of the interconnected nature of our watersheds, and the idea that these are all “destinations”, as will be the Green Eggs Wetland. Students will design classic postcard for locations in the watershed. “Wish you were here…”
Subsequent visits to points in the watershed or in-class slideshows could be followed by brainstorm sessions on ways to present our watershed in various media. The module would need to be flexible in certain ways, to tap into the existing work of schools that we may not be aware of yet. For example video or other media arts clubs might want to create video diaries, gardening clubs might want to visit a rain garden or a green roof, classes may want to meet at the Nature Walk or in the Newtown Creek Visitor Center.
The teaching module would “end” with a relationship between the Green Eggs Wetland and area school kids. The basic materials generate in these sessions would be a source of inspiration to the planners and designers of the Green Eggs, and the actual materials could be curated into a temporary exhibit for the Newtown Creek Visitor Center or other local exhibit space. The teaching module would create a “correspondence” between the Green Eggs project and the community that could work both ways, with designers reaching back to the students with updates and questions.