EMHS in the East Austin Environmental Initiative Newsletter!
September 2014

Community Supports Student-Designed Campus Projects
Submitted by Nicole Welling, Eastside Memorial High School at Johnston Campus, and Carolyn M. Appleton, EcoRise Youth Innovations


Thanks to a $3,000 grant from the City of Austin's "Bright Green Future" program, English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher Nicole Welling and six students from Eastside Memorial High School at the Johnston Campus (EMHS) are revitalizing a campus courtyard with raised garden beds, a rainwater catchment system, and a new outdoor classroom.

The City grant aims to help Austin-area students, teachers, and parents envision a "bright green future" through a variety of hands-on learning projects. Welling asked her students to design an outdoor learning space that utilizes sustainable building practices, adds value to their campus, and positively impacts the community.

Students' engagement and leadership in the project reflects the increased academic performance of EMHS students in recent years. Their design for the gardens and outdoor structure creates a place for students to learn in an outdoor environment and for community members to interact.

The project is a collaborative effort. Mentoring support has been shared, and will continue to be provided, by the Austin Permaculture Guild, Upcycle Organics, Keep Austin Beautiful, Austin Community College's Building and Construction Department, and EcoRise Youth Innovations. Parents and members of the community will share their knowledge of gardening, building techniques, and more.

This campus project is a work in process. Please contact Nicole Welling at 512-569-0595 or [email protected] if you have questions or would like to support the project by donating supplies or volunteering.

Visit to learn more about the City's Bright Green Future grants program and to learn about sustainable stormwater solutions.