Future fest grows awareness of green-roof project


By Jill Stern

P.S. 41, The Greenwich Village School, recently held its first Futurehood block party in the W. 11th St.’s school’s courtyard. One of a planned series of events, it was a fundraiser and awareness raiser for GELL, or Greenroof Environmental Literacy Laboratory, the elementary school’s green-roof project.

Bands performed throughout the afternoon, including crowd favorites Care Bears on Fire, from Brooklyn. A fun time was had by all, though apparently not by some of the school’s neighbors, who complained about the noise from the music, leading to Futurehood’s being shut down.

Among the movers and shakers on the P.S. 41 green-roof project are Carlos Suarez, owner of Bobo restaurant, and Vicki Sando, a former P.S. 41 parent co-president. The rooftop garden/teaching laboratory is planned to be 19,000 square feet. The GELL project can start as early as this summer, if the school secures the funding by then. While the Department of Education has approved the rooftop foliage, no money is currently coming from D.O.E. By raising the project’s profile, the school hopes a corporation or individual will emerge to help fund the project.

Walking from table to table at the block party, one could learn from Con Edison about wind power available (just a little more expensive than the utility’s regular service), from Terracycle on how to recycle juice boxes and cookie wrappers into new usable items, from the Lower East Side Ecology Center about how to compost and from Edible Manhattan on where to find organic foods in the city.  Local restaurants and merchants Bobo, Gramercy Tavern, Royale, Go Catering and Murray’s Bagels offered food tastings. More events are to come, including possibly panel discussions, movie screenings and, in the winter, indoor events in the school’s auditorium.