SAN MARCOS — The 10th annual Green Apple Day of Service took place Saturday at Knob Hill Elementary School, a project spearheaded by Balfour Beatty and San Diego Green Building Council to create an outdoor classroom and learning garden for its students.
Knob Hill, which is a part of the San Marcos Unified School District, was carefully selected as a school that would most benefit from these improvements.
Green Apple Day of Service is an international movement of nearly a million volunteers in 80 countries to celebrate the central role that schools play in preparing the next generation of global leaders in sustainability.
An initiative from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, it provides an opportunity for students, teachers, parents, elected officials, organizations, companies and more to transform schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning places.
“How we educate and take care of our schools sends a tangible signal of a community’s willingness to provide a strong education to all its students. Many of our schools simply send the wrong message: stuffy, poorly lit, overcrowded and sometimes toxic environments unfit for learning,” says the Green Apple Day of Service mission statement.
“When we educate a child, we choose the future we hope he or she creates. We choose a sustainable future, and so we must educate students to prepare them to create it — in a place that inspires them,” the statement continues.
In 2017, Balfour Beatty’s local Green Apple Day of Service held at Solana Ranch Elementary School was awarded an international “Standout Project – Best of Green Schools Award!” An honor that has inspired volunteers in the years that followed.
This year’s Day of Service brought more than 100 students, teachers, parents and community members to Knob Elementary to create an outdoor classroom and learning garden for students to learn and engage in a connective and hands-on way.
Volunteers helped create an outdoor learning/reading garden by building planter boxes, planting and spread mulch, creating walkways, weeding, paving, making student-decorated rocks, installing of outdoor dry-erase boards for the teachers, and creating a new shared library for students.
Knob Hill Elementary serves about 830 students. SMUSD operates 19 schools and serves over 19,000 students annually.