Sarah Lawrence College will be installing its second green roof, composed of live vegetation, as one more step in its efforts to "green" the College's campus on Saturday, October 4. Postponed because of rain from September 27, a national day of action calling for a new "green" economy, the College is partnering with SmartRoofs LLC, a for-profit subsidiary of the environmental justice organization, Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) that trains and employs "green-collar" workers. The program begins at 10 a.m.
Organizers from the College, the student club Sustainable SLC, and the management of SmartRoofs, LLC, chose September 27 for the installation, and an accompanying program of speakers and activities, in order to join with thousands of others across the country. The day of action is being promoted by Green For All, a national organization devoted to "increasing legislative support for green jobs as a way to lift people out of poverty and restore our planet." The program will also include tours of the College's newly retrofitted, "green" residence hall.
Justin Butler, co–founder of Sustainable SLC, rallied student support for the College's new "green" roof, approved and paid for by the student senate. "This is an important partnership between a private college and a green jobs training and placement organization, and we stand together in calling for governmental action for Green Jobs," said Butler. "Our hope is to demonstrate that this can be done on campuses everywhere."
SmartRoofs, LLC, a "green" roof installation company based in the Bronx, is guided by SSBx's mission to "create environmental justice through innovative, economically sustainable projects that are informed by community needs." The nine workers who will install the roof at Sarah Lawrence are all graduates of SSBx's Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training (B.E.S.T.) program, which trains local residents for jobs in the green economy. "This project exemplifies the true meaning of using the green economy to alleviate poverty, provide opportunity and combat climate change" said Miquela Craytor, SmartRoofs CEO & SSBx's Executive Director.
Materials sourced for the project come from LiveRoof, a national company supplying prevegetated modular green roof systems, and Bradco, a New Jersey-based roofing supplier.
The concept of green roofs was developed in Germany decades ago and the prevalence of these roofs that are beneficial to the environment has been growing in the U.S. over the last 5 to 10 years. Public benefits include controlling storm-water runoff, improving water quality, reducing building heating needs, reducing urban heat island effect, and improving air quality. Sarah Lawrence College's first green roof covers a section of the LEED certified Heimbold Visual Arts Center which opened in 2004.
The new green roof is a type using modular trays containing sedums, succulent plants that retain water. This particular type of green roof was chosen for its cost effectiveness and flexibility. As additional funds become available more trays of plants can be added to cover increasingly larger areas.
Speakers for the day include:
Miquela Craytor, Executive Director, Sustainable South Bronx & CEO, SmartRoofs LLC
Hillary Birch Vanaria, Business Associate, SmartRoofs, LLC
Dwaine Lee, Field Manager, B.E.S.T. and other graduates of the job training program
A representative from the Yonkers Green Policy Task Force
A Yonkers City Councilmember
Nikki Henderson, Senior Researcher and Executive Aide to the President, Green For All
Justin Butler, Co-Founder, Sustainable SLC, Sarah Lawrence College