Imagine a 35-foot school bus converted into a mobile greenhouse. Help us take it to local schools to teach kids about urban gardening.
Our mission is to demonstrate the creative possibility of urban agriculture by promoting local gardening, healthy eating, and sustainability.The Green Urban Lunch Box visits local schools, farmers markets, outdoor concerts, festivals, and wherever groups of people, especially children, gather. Our intent is to create a fun, hands-on approach to gardening. When we visit schools, we teach 1st-3rd graders about plants, backyard gardens, and the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. We provide garden access to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn and experience what it is like to grow vegetables. We help kids and parents see that they can garden anywhere and open their eyes to the possibilities and joy of growing their own food. We give each child who comes in to the bus seeds and other gardening tools. The participants must promise to grow at least one plant that they can eat at home. In 2011, The Green Urban Lunch Box had over 1,000 visitors, about 75% of whom were children. In the fall of 2012 we are aiming to visit all of the 25 schools in the Salt Lake City school district helping us educate over 3,000 kids.
While this bus is a creative teaching tool, there is still work to be done. We want the bus to help people learn about all sorts of different forms of creative agriculture. To do this we will need to make some improvements to the bus. We need to install steps so people can exit the back of the bus, helping us get more people in and out of the bus safely. We want to add a gravity feed watering system to the top of the bus. Our aquaponics system (a symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a recirculating environment) needs some tweaking so that it functions more smoothly. This requires the addition of edible fish and a heater to keep the water flowing in the winter. Better insulation and a solar powered heating system would allow us to grow salad greens year-round. The addition of this heating system would allow us to visit schools year-round, thus reaching more students and members of the community. Other additions will include a small roof top garden, a vertical garden in the bus, and a coffee ground mushroom bed. Lastly, we plan to install interpretive signage throughout the bus, so that it becomes an even more effective educational tool.
We plan to visit over 3,000 school children this year and we want each of them to plant and grow one vegetable plant. This means that 3,000 families will be growing some of their own food. As a result, there will be 3,000 new plants in Salt Lake City. To do this we need to buy supplies like dirt, seeds, and pots. In addition to all this, the bus is in need of a new paint job thanks to some local graffiti artists.
This is where we need your help. This is a labor of loved funded last year by our founder, Shawn Peterson. Last year over 1,500 volunteer hours were donated by friends and community members. Currently, Shawn is a 30 hour a week volunteer on this project and most of the funding for the project so far has come out of his pockets.
If we raise at least $5,000 dollars with this campaign, we will be able to do the following: Purchase the need supplies for our school visits, add solar power to the bus so we can heat it year-round, add the gravity feed watering system, install the stairs, and repaint the bus. If we raise $6,500 we will be able to finish the aquaponics system, start growing pink and blue oyster mushrooms, add a roof top garden, and vertical garden to the bus. For $7,500 we can complete all the tasks listed above, no matter what, any donations will be put to good use. Thank you for your help.
For helping us out we have some cool stuff like shirts, hats, lunch boxes, and the best prize of all, fresh veggies. Or if you are feeling more altruistic send the bus to a school or have us convert a yard for a senior citizen in your neighborhood. Check out the rewards on the side.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.