Ready! Set! Grow! NAR Supports Sustainable Schoolyards

For more information, contact:
Michelle Wardlaw 202/383-1042 mwardlaw@realtors.org

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2008

In recognition of the importance of environmental issues in our global community, the National Association of Realtors® is a sponsor of the Sustainable Schoolyard display at the U.S. Botanic Garden's 'One Planet - Ours' exhibit, in collaboration with members of the Smart Growth Network. This outdoor learning environment demonstrates how schoolyards can be used for education as well as recreation.

The colorful display features a kid-friendly walkway surrounded by vegetable plants known as an “Edible Garden.” The exhibit features a solar-powered fountain in a pond that uses the sun’s energy to circulate the pond water, helping the fish breathe and making it difficult for mosquitoes to lay eggs. The Schoolhouse Rooftop is designed to channel rain water to a nearby barrel, where the water is stored for later use in the garden to give plants the moisture they need to grow.

“Realtors® build communities, and supporting education is an important part of that,” said NAR President Dick Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, California. “The Botanic Garden’s Sustainable Schoolyard illustrates outdoor classroom concepts, ecological teaching tools and creative play ideas that can be easily replicated in any schoolyard in America.”

The schoolyard design shows ways in which a typical elementary school can use its schoolyard as an outdoor classroom that can serve virtually any subject and educate students in nutrition, healthy living and community building. Visitors can also learn about the principles of ecological design, interconnected natural systems, natural and recycled building materials, renewable energy systems and local wildlife habitats. The exhibit is open and free to the public through October 13, 2008, at 100 Maryland Avenue, SW in Washington, D.C. For more information on Sustainable Smart Growth, visit realtor.org/smartgrowth.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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