One of my favorite teaching experiences was as an instructor for the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training, or B.E.S.T., Academy with Sustainable South Bronx, an organization with the mission to empower urban communities through information on environmental justice issues and hands on, green collar job training.
We took a walk through Hunts Point and looked at the industrial businesses that fill the neighborhood. This walk, called the Toxic Tour, given by Marta Rodriquez, a local resident and activist, highlights the power people have and the opportunity to make changes that will better the community.
Looking at issues related to access to beneficial goods and services in urban areas, health concerns, economic opportunity and environmental justice, we talked about our role in educating ourselves and the community in knowing our rights to a better quality of life.
Recently we worked with soil science educators from the USDA NRCS division at Soundview Park in the Bronx. Soil is the foundation for our cities, literally, providing stability for our structures, providing food for us through the plants it nourishes and providing habitat for the organisms that support our ecosystem.
In class we talked about our (overlooked) interdependent relationship with soil and our need to conserve and replenish it. We learned about the properties of soil, what makes it healthy and what happens when it’s not.
What is your relationship with soil? Who has the power in your community?
- Free Training in the Green Collar Workforce with Sustainable South Bronx! (busyasabeazer.wordpress.com)