The project is a partnership between the Horticultural Society of New York, Global Kids and the school. This garden consists of 57 green roof modules containing shrubs, flowers, herbs and seasonal vegetables.
“Young people are continuing to advocate for green roofs around the city,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, executive director of Global Kids. “I was just really happy that we could connect the Horticultural Society with Bryant High School.”
Funding for the project comes from a $7.9 million initiative to invest in energy efficient and environmental projects in areas of western Queens that were affected by the July 2006 electrical power outage.
“It’s a great validation for us for all the pain we went through,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday. “The fact that the kids are driving it makes it all the more gratifying.”
Students at the school have been pressuring faculty members and local organizations to make the green roof a reality.
“Since we don’t have a lot of green space, the rainwater has to go through the combined sewage system,” said Amosh Neubane, a Bryant High School senior who advocated for the project. “The more green spaces, the more water will be absorbed.”
In addition to pushing for the green roof, Neubane is starting an environmental club. He hopes the green roof can be used to grow produce to be sold cheaply in the schools cafeteria, as well as to local stores in Astoria.
“We can also use this to grow organic food,” he said. “Only the affluent community members get fresh food.”