Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: The Green Project

It seems as though spring has brought a hustle and bustle type of energy to the Green Project.  There are more customers than ever coming and going in the warehouse and lumberyard.   In my spare time when I am not planning and promoting workshops I really enjoy helping people find and measure items in the store while talking to them about their home improvement endeavors.  I’ve also been planning a number of outreach educational and craft activities.  Last week two wonderful volunteers and I facilitated a very successful craft at the Louisiana Children Museum’s Farm Festival.  We had over 60 participants use our recycled paint to decorate repurposed pots and then plant nasturtium seeds in them, it was the most fun I’ve ever had at an outreach event.    Our weekly Green Projectivities are running smoothly, although we’ve had a decline in attendance the past few weeks, I think festival season has something to do with it.  To increase participation I have been promoting on more websites and trying to flier in new places.

The past two weeks have been especially enjoyable at work because I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Ms. Williams’ second grade class.  We spent two days together creating art projects from materials found in our warehouse.  The pieces that they created will be sold at our fundraiser in April.  Service learning is being integrated into their curriculum; their “service” to us will be to help raise money at one and only fundraiser for the year.  The kids’ enthusiasm about recycling and reuse was refreshing; their presence definitely brightened each day that I spent with them.    As a finale to our service learning partnership the class took a field trip to the insectarium and then to the Shops at Canal Place to see the furniture pieces that are being auctioned off at our fundraiser.  I created a “reduce, reuse, and recycle” scavenger hunt where the kids had to find specific reclaimed materials that were incorporated into the furniture and light fixtures.  I had no idea that they would respond so well to searching for claw feet and old windows!  The children loved the hunt for repurposed materials and didn’t want to get on the bus to go home.  I am a little disappointed that I won’t get the chance to work with them again.

The next few weeks will be a busy time at the Green Project as we prepare for Salvations, our juried furniture exhibition and auction.  I am sure many hours will be spent chasing down wine vendors and moving around tables but I’m looking forward to the event.

-Kaylie Birdsall, Tulane VISTA & Environmental Education Coordinator @ The Green Project. For more information about volunteer and outreach activities, please click on this link The Green Project.


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Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

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