LaPorte, Indiana.

LaPorte, Indiana. Credit: AirBeagle/Flickr

Project Location:
Kesling Middle School, LaPorte, Ind.

Key Activities:

  • Planting 249 trees on the grounds of Kesling Middle School
  • Improving internal building temperatures at the school
  • Reducing energy costs for the school
  • Providing educational opportunities for students

Project Description:
Working alongside the Kesling Outdoor Education Program, Alcoa Foundation and American Forests are helping Kesling Middle School students implement an energy conservation project they developed that creates a windbreak around their school while lowering internal temperatures.

Why This Project:
For 32 years in October and May, students at Kesling Outdoor Education Program have planted trees and completed projects on school and park grounds through the Kesling Outdoor Education Program. As part of the same program, eighth graders at the school recently developed its Energy Conservation Landscaping Project, which details 12 phases of work that will result in lower internal temperatures in the non-air-conditioned brick schoolhouse, while also creating a windbreak and decreasing the school’s carbon footprint.

Why Trees for Energy Conservation:
Research has shown that well-placed trees can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and that the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. By using trees to lower the school’s temperatures, Kesling Middle School is also getting the added benefits of noise reduction and the creation of a windbreak across the open 150 acres occupied by the school.