Edgehill Campus to add green roof

Oscar '21 and Esha '21 have been working with administrators, trustees, and even fifth graders to create this opportunity for education and sustainability at USN.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2019 edition of The Peabody Press with the headline, "Green Roof to Be Brought to USN to Teach Sustainability." Read more here from the High School student newspaper.

By Anna Schwarcz ’20

Fourteen thousand square feet of raised beds with grasses and local wildflowers are soon to be on the roof of USN. 

The process of adding a green roof to USN has been in the works for the past few years. After countless conversations and discussions as to whether it would be a good idea, previous students and faculty members came up with a couple ways that USN could benefit from a green roof. Their original idea was for the green roof to serve as an insulator for the school and be used as a tool in teaching sustainability at USN.

After hearing this proposal and discussing it further, active sustainability board members Oscar Fox '21 and Esha Karam '21 were intrigued by this new approach to education and sustainability at USN. Since then, Fox and Karam have been working very hard to bring the green roof to USN. Besides working with faculty members and outside sources, Fox and Karam are the only students that are a part of this project and serve as the main reason as to why we are getting this green roof. Fox and Karam have reached the point in their project that they are confident in saying that the USN community will soon have a green roof. 

Set to be put up over spring break or summer break, the green roof has already had a positive impact on our school community. With the help of science teacher Mrs. Balzer, the fifth graders have been learning about the basics of a green roof and have begun to create their own blueprints. What the fifth graders have been working on reinforces the ideals around the green roof. It will become an important factor when educating students as well as surrounding their ideas on sustainability and helping the USN environment as a whole. Since the original idea of the green roof was announced, these past few years have mostly been about getting information and logistics that are needed when creating a green roof. These past few years have consisted of Fox and Karam working with countless faculty members such as Mr. Mash, Mr. LaCroix, Dr. Durnan, Ms. Standard, Ms. Westfall, Ms. Sachs, and Dr. Matthies. 

As Fox explained these past few years have been about, “Working to create the logistics of the project and lobbying the Building and Grounds Committee to make it happen.” 

Fox, Karam, and other faculty are still working with Mr. Mash and a contractor to figure out a design for the roof as well as pricing. 

After seeing its positive effect in the fifth grade world, the green roof is a project that is soon to hit our campus. This positive impact has begun to affect a small part of our school. With the growth of the green roof, leaders of this project hope that this positive impact will grow and influence the entire school. Although the green roof is still a work in progress, it is safe to say that students seem excited about this new addition to the school and its new educational purposes that it will bring. 
    • A mockup of the rooftop garden for the USN cafeteria expansion, created by USN parent Ben Page.

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