WEM Campus

Alternative Energy & Environmental Sustainability; more than just a recycling program

In the Fall of 2009, Whole Earth opened a new GREEN building powered by a 16-panel 3.20 kWp solar panel system and ‘one mile’ of underground geo-thermal coil that uses the warmth of the Earth’s core to both heat and cool the building.  A classroom computer monitor continuously displays real-time data on the production of the solar panel to elementary students , including daily kWh production, percentage of solar panel efficiency, and total CO2 emission reduction and total mw production since going into operation in August of 2009.  This information is also available online at www.sunnyportal.com, “Publicly Available Plants”, Whole Earth Montessori.

At Whole Earth Montessori our commitment to environmental stewardship doesn’t end with a recycling program; living green and using alternative energy is a way of life.  These features support one of the Whole Earth goals established in 1986:  “to nurture in each student a respect for the environment and an awareness of the need to preserve and protect it for all living things.”

For more than twenty years, Whole Earth students have worked to enhance the stream flowing across the campus.  The 6’ trees planted by students in 1990 are now nearly 100’ tall, and have created a riparian zone along the stream, cooled the water, provided shade, and created a healthier habitat for the native species both in and around the stream.   Elementary students monitor the area to remove invasive plant species.  On site field observation provides resources for follow-up classroom research in botany, zoology, geology and geography.

The City of Bothell, WA where the school is located has selected Palm Creek for extensive study, naming it the healthiest stream in the city.  The city biologists make regular visits to collect data from the stream, and share findings with the students.

The Horticulture Program is centered around the beautiful greenhouse and garden area where the children experience the joy of hands-on work with plants. The children share in the full life cycle of plants, from the wonders of seed germination, to cultivating the gardens, to harvesting the plants. The rewards and fulfillment gained from assisting in the creation of new life fosters an attitude of stewardship and caring for the earth and all life.

Children experience working with the source of life, since virtually all life on Earth is the result of the growth of plants. There is a magical quality to being associated with propagating plants that reveals the bounty of Mother Nature. The excitement and delight they feel in working with plants is evident on their faces.

The intent of the program is to light the fire of enthusiasm within the child and connects them with the source of life on Earth. There are many related topics available for detailed study and immersion.