Greening JEH

Life after the rain

Making pedal-powered smoothies at the Farm stand (5/3/14)

Making pedal-powered smoothies at the Farm stand (5/3/14)

After what seemed like a week of non-stop rain showers, it feels great to be outside!

Celebrating opening day at the Farm's market stand:



Painting rain barrels with Reservoir Hill Girl Scouts: 


Participating in John Eager Howard’s Fun Run/Walk Fundraiser at Druid Hill Park:

Last Panel of the Mosaic Mural for John Eager Howard Recreation Center Complete! And With Much Joy!

The last panel of the mosaic mural for John Eager Howard Recreation Center was completed last Sunday at Beth Am Synagogue’s Purim festival by families from the Beth Am Jewish Discovery Lab and Reservoir Hill-based Girl Scout Troop 10281.

Dozens of adults and children have worked on the mosaic.  It will be a true community-produced work of art that is installed on the exterior recreation center wall.  

Mosaic Makers  is currently working on the frame, which will be installed so that the mosaic can be removed and re-mounted when the building is renovated.   

We are looking for a date in April for installation. Stay tuned!
It’ll be a festive event.  We hope you will be able to attend.

EPA Administrator Visits John Eager Howard Elementary!

USEPA photo by Eric Vance
USEPA photo by Eric Vance

On September 4th, John Eager Howard hosted a visit from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Gina McCarthy, and the mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, Shawn Garvin. Students shared the greening projects they've worked on over the past three years: installing a rain garden where there was once asphalt, painting storm drains around the school to help prevent litter, creating an outdoor classroom with vegetable, native, and pollinator gardens, and making green cleaning solutions to help improve the building's indoor air quality.

USEPA photo by Eric Vance
USEPA photo by Eric Vance

Students took Administrators McCarthy and Garvin on a tour of the school, which ended in the outdoor classroom where they made air freshener for McCarthy to bring back to the Capitol with her. Below, see a photo of Administrator McCarthy using her air freshener and calendar in her office.


The note accompanying the photo read as follows:

Principal Hanson--

Thank you for a very special visit to your wonderful school. I am so grateful to you and your wonderful teachers who are helping to nurture the next generation of environmental stewards. There is an old African saying that "In the end we conserve only what we love, we love only what we know, and we know only what we are taught." That makes you so very important to all of us.

Thank you! Gina McCarthy

Air Superheroes at John Eager Howard

class pic with drawings copy

Throughout May, in partnership with Maryland Environmental Health Network and with support from Baltimore Office of Sustainability, students in JEH's first grade class learned about the connection between the air they breathe and their health.  Air is all around us but not always visible, so it is easy to forget. The project began with students testing if they were able to notice the air with each of their senses in different parts of the building. Once that foundation was established, students did an experiment to understand different types of pollution and read Why is Coco Orange, a book about a chameleon with asthma. Asthma is one of the leading causes of absenteeism in Baltimore City and can be agitated by air pollution outside as well as poor indoor air quality. Concerned about your air quality?

  • You can check out AIRNow to find out what the air quality is for your area today.
  • If the air quality is poor, take it easier when your playing (or working) outside.
  • Help reduce pollution: turn off electronics when you're not using them, walk, bike or bus instead of driving a car.
  • Plant a tree or keep houseplants, both which filter the air.
  • Make your own green cleaning products!

To take action for their school, the students made green cleaning products and worked to make posters (like the one above) to share with their classmates and teachers all they learned. Here are some of the cleaning products students made:

Multi-purpose cleaner

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 15 to 20 drops of essential oil (tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil, lemon essential oil

Air Freshener

  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 15 drops – 20 drops of essential oils of your choice


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoons of liquid dish soap
  • 20 drops of tea tree essential oil

Why essential oils? Lavender: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial Tea tree: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal Lemon: antiseptic

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