Green St. Louis Machine
Mathews-Dickey has taken the lead as the backbone agency in bringing an evidence-based, Disney Channel recognized program from New York City to Saint Louis!
The club has partnered with local volunteers and award winning educator Stephen Ritz to create the Green St. Louis Machine Project at Mathews-Dickey, Grand Center Arts Academy, North Side Community School and Pamoja Academy.
Stephen Ritz, known for his Green Bronx Machine initiative, is a teacher and administrator who uses gardening, including aeroponic growing technology, Tower Garden®, to grow healthier, more engaged students in the South Bronx. This compact, state-of-the-art, vertical aeroponic growing system fits easily in the classroom. Instead of growing plants in traditional horizontal rows, the system grows plants vertically. With only so much land available to grow food, growing plants vertically makes sense for the Earth’s ever-growing human population. And, given growing water shortages, vertical aeroponic gardening makes sense, because it requires much less water than traditional growing methods. Plants grown aeroponically do not even need soil!
Students from Grand Center Arts Academy, North Side Community School, Pamoja Academy and the Mathews-Dickey Swimming Program comprise the Green St. Louis Machine using the Next Generation Science Standards.
Each partner school received the start up kits from MDBGC and the founding donors at no charge (up to a $3,000 value). The project called Green St Louis Machine began in fall of 2015, with a media launch on October 5, 2015 and a Harvest event on November 16, 2015 where Ritz visited to welcome the students, educator and parents. Ritz visits St. Louis Green Machine and its affiliates for special events throughout the year. On August 27, Ritz was honored with the Profit of the Year Award at the Martin Mathews Awards & Benefit Concert featuring Chaka Khan and El Debarge at the Fabulous Fo Theatre.