Balfour Beatty and the San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC) have partnered with a local school to host Green Apple Day of Service for the past six years. The annual day of service takes place on the same day at different schools around the world.
This year, we teamed up with the Solana Beach School District (SBSD) and volunteers from Solana Ranch Elementary School and supporting industry trade partners to build a FarmBot—complete with a dedicated solar panel. Built on an existing planter box in the school’s learning garden, a FarmBot is a programmable, robotic system that can plant seeds, monitor progress, and deliver precise watering amounts based on the type of seed. Additional work performed by volunteers included installing fencing surrounding the garden area and planting a wide variety of fruit and vegetable seeds in several other existing planter boxes.
The effort enhances SBSD’s STREAM (Science-Technology-Research-Engineering-Arts-Math) program, providing students an opportunity to combine robotic studies with real-life experiences—connecting them to farming, nutrition, sustainability, and advancements in technology. The FarmBot allows students to use a game-like interface to design the garden area with plants spaced and programmed to specific growing regimens. Students will care for the plants throughout their lifetime, monitoring each plant’s progress and results. When full grown, the plants will be harvested and students will taste the “fruits of their labor.”
“We are excited that the FarmBot and learning garden will add to Solana Ranch’s STREAM program,” said Brian Cahill, California Division President of Balfour Beatty. “It’s a fantastic community event, and a great way to teach kids about growing their own food with, and without, modern technology. We are honored to give back in a way that reinforces health, wellness and environmental sustainability learning opportunities.”
A special thank you to our key partners, Fence Corp. and Western Rim Constructors, who helped make the event a huge success. Additional contributing sponsors include:
A&S Flooring, Advance Plumbing, American Sheet Metal, Baker Electric, Balfour Beatty, Brady SoCal, Consulting & Inspection Services, Delta, Dynaelectric, Haxton Masonry, HD Supply, International Iron, Jackson Blanc, JG Tate Fire Protection Services, Johnson Controls, Quest, Neal Electric, Pacific Coast Glazing, Inc., Sika, Sylvester Roofing Co, and United Site Services.
Learn more about Balfour Beatty’s participation in Green Apple Day of service in:
2016: Encinitas USD Farm Lab, Encinitas
2015: Pacific Trails Middle School, Carmel Valley
2014: John J. Montgomery Elementary School, Chula Vista
2013: Oceanside High School, Oceanside
Check out the time-lapse video of the 2017 Green Apple Day of Service event.
The San Diego chapter of the US Green Building Council and Balfour Beatty partnered with the Solana Beach School District for the sixth annual Green Apple Day of Service.