Our Completed Projects
Thanks to the incredible generosity of both State Farm and the City of Orlando, we were able to finish the following projects during the 2016-17 school year.
Interactive Map of Exterior Projects
Hydroponic Gardens Project
One of our most industrious projects that we completed this year was the development of our hydroponic garden which was constructed by Hydrostacker LLC. This garden can grow up to one thousand plants at one time. We primarily grow Romaine Lettuce for the Manatee Rescue Program at SeaWorld.
Trash 2 Trends Recycled Fashion Show
Eco Club was given the opportunity to really take a new creative step at recycling....through fashion. SeaWorld asked our Eco Club Rangers if they were up to the challenge of creating a fashionable dress for the upcoming fashion show fundraiser for Keep Orlando Beautiful, which was hosted at SeaWorld. A team of seven dedicated rangers, worked with Mr. Garrett to create and build a dress within just one month. On February 3, 2018 Eco Club presented their dress on their model, Kindergarten teacher Ms. Brimmer, to an enthusiastic crowd.
IFAS Cooking Classes / Junior Chef Competition
Eco Club noticed that working in the garden was not enough, but eating from the garden was always a favorite time. Eco Club teamed up with the University of Florida's IFAS Nutrition Program and set out to teach our students how to prepare and cook some amazing meals with some of the items we grow in our gardens. They have learned many culinary skills such as sauteing, toasting, and cutting. They have worked on many different dishes from pizza to stir fry, and have been eager to try them at home. Later this year, students will compete in a "Junior Chef" Competition at Edible Education to claim the title of Top Chef!
Gopher Tortoise Adoption
Eco Club is always researching ways to help endangered and threatened animals within our area. When the Eco Club team stumbled upon a gopher tortoise adoption program through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, we could not resist the chance to provide a home for a sick or injured Florida gopher tortoise. We went through the complex permitting process to become a new home for our gopher tortoise, "The Flash", who came to us all the way from Fort Lauderdale! Now he basks in complete bliss in his habitat on our school campus!
Quarter-acre Wildlife Sanctuary
Eco Club has been working on the many pieces that will eventually become our wildlife sanctuary. Eco club has built and installed an osprey nesting perch, a frog pond, and is currently planting over 350 native Florida plants that will provide food, nectar, shelter, and a safe place for wildlife to thrive.
UCF Oyster Reef Mat Construction
This year we had students from the University of Central Florida's Coastal and Estuary Ecology Lab come out and teach our Eco Club Rangers about the importance of Estuaries and the important part that Oysters play in helping the environment. Students, Parents, and Staff worked together to create Oyster Reef mats that will be placed in the Indian River Lagoon.
Everyday Education Efforts & Projects
Not every day of Eco Club is packed with big projects. On many days we are collaborating with community partners to learn about conservation efforts, working on raising awareness within our school and community, and conducting regular maintenance efforts to ensure our projects are functioning properly. Through these efforts Eco Club Rangers learn the values of Teamwork, Stewardship, Cooperation, Networking, and Public Speaking.
Recycled-Tire Butterfly Garden & Pulse Tribute
This year we worked tirelessly (no pun intended) to create a beautiful tribute to the victims of the Pulse Night Club attack and provide a sanctuary for local butterflies. This project incorporated recycled tires that were donated to us by Central Florida Pick-n-Pay, the expert advise from our UFIFAS partners, and lots of hard work from our Eco Club Rangers. In the end, a rock was painted with the names of each victim and placed in the garden for all to visit and reflect upon.
Energy Conservation Projects
This year we found two unique ways to help produce electricity for our school and projects. We have installed five pedal-a-watt bike systems that help power batteries we use in our different projects. Also we have installed two wind turbines on campus to help educate students about renewable energy sources and to help us power some of our projects.
School Recycling Efforts
With assistance from our Smartville team, Eco Club has spearheaded the first recycling efforts in our school. Thanks to the City of Orlando, we were able to clean up and label some older recycling bins and begin recycling on a weekly basis.
Food Waste Composting
Millennia Gardens Elementary was the first school in Orange County to work with Orlando City's Department of Sustainability to incorporate food waste composting in our school. The cafeteria staff and students have taken responsibility to reduce the amount of waste we are throwing out everyday, saving our school lots of money. We were able to reduce the amount of trash pick-ups and compost our food waste back into soil. Some of the soil was brought to our school for our butterfly gardens and raised bed gardens at school.