SUSTAINABLE ROOFTOP GARDEN
At Saint John's School, Puerto Rico
Designed by Gavriel Faigenblat
During a meeting with the school principal, Mr. Sanabria, we brought the idea of creating a garden for the Saint John’s School community. Mr. Sanabria was instantly inspired and took us to a possible area for the garden, a section of the roof. We were all amazed at what a great space this would be for the students to learn about rooftop gardens and sustainable ventures in an urban area.
Although constructing a rooftop garden during a pandemic posed many challenges, we were able to work and collaborate with the maintenance team of Saint John’s School to make our vision come true. We would like to thank the Whole Kids Foundation for giving us the first garden grant in Puerto Rico to help grow our garden.
As new executive orders bring new challenges to the construction of the rooftop garden, we are currently finishing the process of installing the carpet and fixing the minor structural aspects of the garden. Now, we are waiting for the hydroponic system and our planters to be installed.
Collaborating with the Bee Cause Project
HOW IT STARTED
We began by reaching out and collaborating with the Bee Cause Project from Charleston, South Carolina. They helped us bring the first observational beehive and bee curriculum to our school.
VISIT TO PUERTO RICO
In February 2020, Tammy Enright from the Bee Cause Project came to Puerto Rico to visit the sanctuary site and the schools we collaborate with.
Today, we have over six observational beehives across the island in public and private schools and museums. Some of these were obtained through grants we applied to.
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB
Escuela Rogelio Rosado Crespo
In one of our many seminars at the EcoExploratorio, we met an intrigued and dedicated teacher from the school Rogelio Rosado Crespo in Yabucoa. Ever since, we have helped them implement bee and garden programs for the second and sixth grades. They have been awarded the best PBL of their region by the Department of Education of Puerto Rico. Before the pandemic, we initiated their second bee program, “Bees in Action,” and have continued both the garden and bee program through educational videos.
Clubhouse of Las Margaritas
We are in the second year of our garden and bee program at Las Margaritas clubhouse. The students have learned how to tend their garden and the importance of bees through a series of hands-on experiences. We have continued our program virtually through a series of educational videos and exercises in their workbook.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS & MUSEUMS
Academia Maria Reina, Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, Colegio Nuestra Señora De La Piedad, Museo Histórico de Culebra, and EcoExploratorio Museo de Ciencias
Academia Maria Reina: We have joined the Science Department with Be a Bee and are in the process of installing an observational beehive in their library.
Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola: Two years ago, we installed an observational beehive and by having a vast green area the bees have been thriving. Their “Bee Project” has had various seminars in their school.
Colegio Nuestra Señora De La Piedad: We have had hands on activities about the importance of bees with Elementary Students and have sold our products in their yearly fair.
Museo Histórico de Culebra: Since we installed the first bee observatory in Culebra, the bee population has been increasing exponentially. We have had to move various panels to other boxes in order to give more room for the bees in the observatory.
EcoExploratorio Museo de Ciencias: After launching Be a Bee, we have continued our alliance by being a part of various seminars and continuing to give lectures, even virtually.
Para la Naturaleza
Two years ago, we began our pilot program with Para la Naturaleza, in which we assisted the beekeeper William Burgos in the apiary of Hacienda la Esperanza. Through this program, members of Be a Bee were given the opportunity to work hands-on with the bees and discover what truly happens inside a beehive. Willy has been an instrumental part in teaching our members how bees work together in a hive and how to take care of the beehives.