Top Fort Worth private school sows new earth-friendly program
Fort Worth Country Day, the city's oldest college preparatory school, has added a unique new program that teaches students excellent lessons about waste and saving the planet. Country Day has partnered with Fort Worth-based Cowboy Compost to implement an ongoing, long-term composting program at the school.
Cowboy Compost was established in 2016 by Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya and entrepreneur Johanna Calderón. They work with organizations and businesses to raise awareness about organic waste challenges and provide composting services previously unavailable in Fort Worth.
The company delivers food waste to local professional composting facilities so that this organic waste will help create nutrient-rich soil.
Country Day head Eric Lombardi says in a release that the school is thrilled about the opportunity.
Composting enriches soil, helping keep it moist. It suppresses plant diseases and pests and lowers the need for chemical fertilizers.
"This new composting program will further mold our students into responsible citizens who serve others and their community," Lombardi says. "It's always wonderful when we find new and innovative ways to raise awareness about important issues such as waste, and develop solutions that improve our campus and the greater Fort Worth community."
In Fort Worth Country Day's Fischer Dining Pavilion, there are now receptacles for food waste, bins for recycling, and containers for trash. The partnership with Cowboy Compost calls for students to responsibly place their lunch trash in the appropriate container.
After the food waste is collected, Cowboy Compost takes it to a compost center where it is made into rich soil. Though some of the soil is returned to Fort Worth Country Day, most of it is distributed throughout Fort Worth.
More than 2,100 pounds of food waste were collected during the pilot week of the program.
"I started composting because I didn't want my children living in a city where we are not aware of our actions," Harth-Bedoya says. "We are here at Fort Worth Country Day to share and practice this system of composting, and to ensure our food scraps do not go to waste."
Situated on 100 acres in southwest Fort Worth, Fort Worth Country Day was founded in 1963. Its 220 faculty and staff members lead and teach grades K-12.