Sustainable Long Island, along with the City of Long Beach, recently held a “Reduce Rain Runoff” Community Challenge for students at the Long Beach Middle School. Students were tasked with creating a work of art that emphasizes the benefits of green infrastructure. Artwork submissions included posters, sketches, and flow charts.
“Sustainable Long Island is proud to help educate and engage Long Beach youth through the ‘Reduce Rain Runoff’ community challenge,” said Ann Fangmann, Executive Director at Sustainable Long Island. “Our goal is to continue to inform the greater community at large about green infrastructure in an aesthetically pleasing way.”
To kick off the community challenge, Long Beach Middle School Principal Paul Romanelli welcomed the group and introduced art elective teacher Laura Swan. Ms. Swan introduced the challenge and spoke to the process and techniques used by students to develop their artwork. A slideshow of pictures, illustrating both in-progress and completed projects, played in the background on the Smart Board in the library multi-purpose room.
Each student briefly presented their artwork and the green infrastructure concept that their artwork represented to their peers, Long Beach Middle School faculty, and the challenge judges. The judges consisted of Gabrielle Alper and Matthew Esposito of Sustainable Long Island, Megan Porter of the City of Long Beach, and Rusty Schmidt of Nelson, Pope & Voorhis. After each student presented, the judges walked around the room to take a closer look at each student’s artwork and evaluate them. The projects were evaluated based on 5 categories: creativity/innovation, organization, design, clarity of message, and educational content. After evaluating the projects, the judges met outside the room to tally the scores and choose the two runners-up and the first place winner.
“Having worked with my 7th grade art class on this community challenge, I am proud of my students’ forward thinking about green infrastructure,” said Laura Swan, Art Education Teachers, Long Beach Middle School.
The chosen winners were:
1st Place Winner: Lucia Tomicick (winner of iPad mini)
Artwork represented a combination of different green infrastructure techniques with a special emphasis on the environment and ecological impact of reducing rain runoff. Lucy touched on the benefits of green roofs, such as reducing heating and cooling costs, and reducing rain runoff.
Artwork displayed the green infrastructure concept of vertical gardens and the benefits this space saving technique can have in dense urban conditions. As urban areas are comprised of mostly impermeable surfaces, vertical gardens provide a unique way to reduce rain runoff.
Artwork focused on the benefits of permeable pavement. Chloe explained that traditionally, pavement is not permeable, causing water to run off and collect pollutants. This allows for pollutants to accumulate in the water. Permeable pavement allows for water to penetrate the pavement, and infiltrate the ground.
All three finalists received certificates of achievement with first place winner also being awarded an iPad Mini. Sustainable Long Island would like to thank all of the students for participating in the challenge. The art will be displayed in a public venue in the near future.