Skagit Students Compost for the Environment

June 02, 2014 | Tami Rowe

This school year, the fifth- and sixth-grade students at Skagit Adventist Academy in Burlington started a composting program.

Their teacher, Tami Rowe, was looking for an opportunity for her students to do active community service, be involved in caring for nature and have their interest in gardening piqued.

With the help of a Don Keele Award in 2013 from the NPUC, Rowe received enough funds to supply the needed compost bins and materials.

Before composting could begin, the students researched the benefits of composting and how to go about it. They then informed each classroom about their findings and presented their plan of action.

Every day after the lunch period, the fifth- and sixth-grade students collect lunch food scraps and dump them in the collection bins. There are six bins in use, which are rotated every four to six weeks. Eventually, they will have a fairly constant supply of fresh compost.

What will they do with all of that nutrient-rich soil? The students presented their project to the local North Cascade Church, which has a community garden, and offered the compost to whomever would like some. They had four people jump at the opportunity to add compost to their gardening endeavors.

“I think the project smells bad,” says Ethan Hall, sixth-grade student, with a grin, “but it helps keep food waste out of the landfills.”