Part of SPARK Week, the community event showcased five new eco-friendly features
Submitted by Green Mountain Energy
HOUSTON, November 16, 2022 /CSRwire/ - A regal red and gold dragon undulated across the stage, as small feet shuffled underneath. The fabric creature moved to the beat of the music, with its rows of sharp teeth on display.
The student performance opened the dedication ceremony for Houston ISD Mandarin Immersion Magnet School’s SPARK Park on Tuesday morning. The celebration was part of SPARK Week, which consists of park dedications each day. The event showcased key sustainability elements that were funded by a $182,000 grant from Green Mountain Energy Sun Club.
The innovative Asian-themed SPARK Park is an educational and socially engaging space for students and other visitors from the community. The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club grant funded the construction of an ADA-accessible Raincrete path, made of an enhanced, pervious concrete mix that provides significant improvement to drainage with its ability to absorb stormwater and filter it to groundwater.
The project also includes a stand-alone solar workstation, a water bottle-filling station, a stand-alone solar-powered charging station, and a bamboo grove. This new green infrastructure connects the high-intensity training spaces and obstacle courses.
“Sustainability and accessibility are paramount to our local economy and community of students and families,” said Superintendent Millard House II. “As leaders of tomorrow, HISD students must continue to have the necessary, innovative spaces to create, collaborate and dream, to continue the tradition of ingenuity beyond graduation.”
Since 2002, Green Mountain Energy Sun Club has been empowering local communities by donating nearly $11.7 million to 143 nonprofit organizations across Texas and the Northeast. Green Mountain Energy invites its customers and employees to contribute and help support more projects that promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship.
“Our mission with Sun Club is to advance sustainability by partnering with local organizations that are supporting the community,” said Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager for Green Mountain Energy. “We’re thrilled to partner with Houston ISD and SPARK Parks to help students and community members reduce their carbon footprint.”
The Phoenix and Dragon SPARK Park’s colorful and culturally immersive play environment includes swings, a large turning point, a gaga pit, outdoor chess tables, a fence featuring the Chinese zodiac, and a concrete seating wall featuring tiles on which students wrote their name in Chinese calligraphy. New additions this year include a small soccer field and 13+ obstacle course.
“We’re grateful for our partnership with Green Mountain Energy Sun Club and for their continued generous support of our local communities,” said Dr. Rick Cruz, deputy superintendent of Houston ISD. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to educate students, families, and community members alike about the benefits of more environmentally conscious and energy efficient efforts as we work to create a more sustainable world.”
Thanks to Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, students and visitors will be able to integrate sustainability into their everyday lives by simply enjoying the park’s new features.
About Green Mountain Energy Sun Club
Green Mountain Energy is changing the way power is made and advancing sustainable communities through the work of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. Since its founding in 2002, Sun Club® has donated more than $11 million to 143 nonprofit organizations across Texas and the Northeast. Sun Club collaborates with nonprofit organizations on projects that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship. To learn more about Green Mountain Energy and Sun Club or to apply for a Sun Club grant, visit greenmountain.com/sunclub.
About the Houston Independent School District
The Houston Independent School District is the largest district in Texas and the eighth-largest in the United States, with 276 schools and nearly 197,000 students. The 333-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area, with more than 27,000 employees.
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We live our commitment to sustainability inside and out: Every single product offered by our company has an environmental benefit, and our company operates with a zero-carbon footprint - distinctions that make us proud!
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