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Carmel Magazine Digital Edition SU16

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S U S TA I N A B L E L I F E bird species. The most recent census put that number at 185." The teacher worked hard on his project, applying for grants, recruiting volunteers from organizations such as the Carmel Garden Club and Big Sur Ornithological Lab. "It was truly a passion project," explains Roos. "There was no startup money from the schools. He had the blessing of the Carmel Unified School District, but didn't ask for funding." Roos started at the Habitat as an 11-hour per week intern in 2003, just as the property was dedicated. She has witnessed a great deal of change in the intervening 13 years, including the building of a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) cer tified classroom, native plant gardens and nursery and an organ- ic row-crop garden. 2008 was a turning point. "We were raising a half-million dollars every year," Roos says, "even though they didn't provide funding, we were under the fiscal oversight of Carmel Middle and it made sense to break away as a separate 501(c) 3. We also wanted to posi- tion ourselves as a county-wide organization." C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 6 233 Students of all ages participate in various MEarth programs, including popular chef and culinary demonstrations that utilize fresh, organic produce direct from the garden.

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