History Park is composting

History Park's new composting bin
History Park’s new composting bin

Composting: the natural process in which organic materials are broken down into a rich, fertile soil known as compost
Vermicomposting: the process of composting food scraps and garden waste with Red Worms

Why did Kelly choose composting and History San Jose?
In her own words: Kelly Rafey, senior at Notre Dame High School, has completed her Senior Service Learning Project with History San Jose as her community partner. Her mission was to promote sustainability and spread awareness of the benefits of composting. The result? A new composting initiative at History Park and some fat, healthy worms ready for your food scraps. The new vermicomposting bin is located next to Umbarger House with instructions on what can and cannot be composted.

“Roughly one quarter of the waste dumped in American landfills is compostable food waste. If those food scraps were composted, then not only would these landfills be dramatically reduced in size and environmental repercussions, but it would enhance our progress towards sustainability. As the location of eight different field trips and as many as 72 elementary school students a day, San Jose History Park is perfectly suited to its new composting program.”

Kelly constructed the wooden composting bin that is now located in front of the Umbarger House at History Park. The worms have been growing and multiplying in this bin since early November of 2011, and last month the compost bin was opened to the public, available for anyone to dispose of food scraps (fruits and vegetables) or carbon waste (paper and garden scraps).

Everyone is welcome to participate in this project of sustainability, which will over time grow to decompose more food scraps and produce more compost for the gardens of History Park. This project is a first step in reducing the amount of waste thrown away at History Park, and will hopefully only become more and more sustainable in the months and years to come.

For more information about Kelly Rafey’s composting project, as well as information on composting itself, see https://sites.google.com/a/ndsj.org/vermicompostinghistorypark_2012/home.

Be sure to take advantage of Kelly’s hard work and dedication by composting and reducing waste at History Park.