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SBJC’s Lodi Campus receives BCUA environmental grant for garden program

BCUA grant

For the past eleven years, the Bergen County Utility Authority has been awarding grants to Bergen County schools to assist in establishing or advancing recycling programs. And for the past ten years, Dr. Mark Raum, SBJC physical therapist, has won the district funding to grow a Lodi Campus recycling program.

“We’ve been able to purchase recycling containers for every classroom, as well as bins to collect the cumulative recycling materials, that our students take to the curb each week to be picked up by the town,” says Dr. Raum, who uses the recycling program as a part of this PT instruction. “When collecting the recycling materials, students are required to navigate the stairs while carrying the bins or containers, performing appropriate problem solving skills, body mechanics and gross motor and fine motor skills.”

This year, the BCUA award of $1,000 will be put towards the garden program to teach students about composting. SBJC will purchase three dual-chamber compost tumblers that will be used to recycle lunch and other food waste and turn it into a soil conditioner. Students will be in charge of identifying what foods can go in the piles, turning the tumblers when necessary, and incorporating the compost into the soil.

The garden program was started in the spring of 2018. It’s already provided students with the opportunity for hands-on learning, from exploring how to grow and maintain a garden, to cooking healthy meals, to running a farm stand.