Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Green Roof Project Celebrates $500 Thousand Participatory Budget Funding From Council Member Ben Kallos Last Night - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer Announces $250 Thousand For Green Roof Too

 As reported May 15:

... Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Green Roof project was the top vote getter in NYC Council District 5 Participatory Budget election and will receive $5 Hundred thousand towards the total $1.5 million project cost....
Last night, Roosevelt Island community members

gathered together at the PS/IS 217 schoolyard to celebrate winning the $500,000 for the Green Roof and to participate in a ceremonial milkweed planting. P.S./I.S. 217 plans to build a managed milkweed haven on its green roof to serve as a flight corridor for monarch butterflies, which have suffered a severe loss of habitat.

Among those present were New York City Council Member Ben Kallos;

Ben Kallos Greeted By Roosevelt Island Brownies

P.S./I.S. 217 Principal Mandana Beckman; representatives from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's and New York State Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright’s offices; GrowNYC;  Grow to Learn; local Girl Scout troop members and Roosevelt Island residents.

Roosevelt Island resident Christine Delfico of iDig2Learn hosted the celebration and introduced Council Member Ben Kallos who congratulated the community on its Participatory Budget win. Mr. Kallos asked the Roosevelt Island Brownies questions about milkweed plants and monarch butterflies. Mr. Kallos also revealed a secret. When he proposed to his wife, he hid the ring in a box of butterflies.

Exciting news followed. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's representative Erica Baptiste announced that the PS/IS 217 Green Roof project will receive $250 Thousand from the Borough President.

The Roosevelt Island Brownies then presented Mr. Kallos with a book about the PS/IS 217 Green Roof project to thank him for his support

and then the milkweed planting for monarch butterflies began.

Below is Press Release about the event from iDig2Learn.
The Manhattan Borough President’s office today committed $250,000 in funding to build a green roof on top of Roosevelt Island’s public school. The announcement came as elected officials and other community leaders gathered to celebrate the school’s recent win of $500,000 through the District 5 participatory budget ballot for the project.

“The green roof project at P.S./I.S. 217 will help the environment while giving our kids a vital opportunity to learn by doing. I’m thrilled to celebrate this funding today and proud to announce my office is committing $250,000 to this project as well,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The project-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education made possible by facilities like this one promote a deeper, more enriching learning experience. At the same time, green roofs reduce the ‘urban heat island’ effect and improve our air quality – a win-win.”

"Congratulations to the students, parents, and friends of P.S./I.S. 217 for winning participatory budgeting funding to construct a green roof that will be a great educational boon for our children. I am deeply impressed by how actively the Roosevelt Island community mobilized and came together throughout the participatory budgeting process. The success of the green roof project was a product of incredible volunteerism by residents and community groups of all ages. Participatory budgeting is about actively engaging to improve the community around us. P.S./I.S. 217 and its supporters certainly did that," said Council Member Ben Kallos.

Peter H. Kostmayer, CEO of Citizens Committee for New York City, said, "We're thrilled to provide a 2015 Neighborhood Grant for iDig2Learn's volunteer project that helps restore wildlife micro-habitats right here in the city. When neighborhood groups team up with local schools to better the environment, the entire community benefits and young student leaders are born. We're grateful for their dedication and happy to be a small part of these remarkable local efforts." iDig2Learn, an initiative that promotes green spaces and provides children with hands-on education using plant life, works with community groups as an advocate for the school green roof project.

Girl scouts were among those who spent hours raising awareness and encouraging voting throughout the Island. Janine Schaefer of the Beacon/Roosevelt Island Youth Program’s Troop 3244 said, “We live in an amazing community where people care enough to vote.” Added Aiesha Eleusizov, Brownie Girl Scout leader of Troop 3001 (which is sponsored by Manhattan Park), “It’s been so exciting for us to see our hard work pay off.”

“This green roof will help us provide a real world setting to support our curriculum,” stated Principal Mandana Beckman of P.S./I.S. 217. “It will facilitate sharing our learning in the arts and sciences and provide a venue for many generations of students and the greater Roosevelt Island community.”

"We are growing our STEM programming,” said 217PTA co-president, Olga Shchuchinov, “so this win brings us one step closer to creating a 21st century teaching hub on the roof."
 “The P.S./I.S. 217 green roof will be an exceptional resource for Roosevelt Island and all of the students who attend the school,” said Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright.  “Once again, Roosevelt Island residents have demonstrated their remarkable ability to unite for the common good.  Congratulations to P.S./I.S. 217 for this wonderful achievement.”

Noted the Roosevelt Island Garden Club’s president, Ali Schwayri, “Engaging children early sets them on a lifelong path of learning and interest in being stewards of our planet. We couldn’t be more excited to share our expertise and passion for this important project.”

Stated Eva Bosbach, founder of the Roosevelt Island Parents’ Network, “This project will serve our children throughout their school years, and our entire Island for years to come.”

Christina Delfico, who helped navigate the green roof project as iDig2Learn’s founder, stated, “Green roofs give young people a chance to test their theories, find solutions, and build professional know-how. They benefit our environment, transform neighborhoods, and serve as a catalyst for all sorts of learning. In short, everyone wins.”

The event included a ceremonial planting of the milkweed plant that monarch butterflies, which have suffered a severe loss of habitat, heavily depend upon. iDig2Learn is working with P.S./I.S. 217 to include the school’s green roof as one of many planting sites along Roosevelt Island that will together form a managed milkweed haven. These destinations will serve as a flight corridor for monarch butterflies on their migrations south to warmer weather every fall.

The cost for P.S./I.S. 217’s 6,750 square-foot green roof has been estimated at $1.5 million. Organizers said that, with one-half of the funding now in place, they hope the project will be in full swing by 2018.