Featured BIG Grant: Composting in Bridesburg

Bridesburg Improvement Grants (BIG) were launched in Spring 2020 to bring ideas from the community to life in preparation for the riverfront park that will begin construction soon and what sorts of programming and activities the community would want.  These grants of $500 each are designed to spread the word about all the great things that this neighborhood offers to the people who live here in three categories:  nature/outdoor; community building; intergenerational activities.  Launching right before a pandemic hit, and a state issued quarantine mandate did prove challenging, however, we have had some great successes on the first round of this two-year program.

Home Composting 101

On a beautiful, crisp fall Saturday morning, 13 people gathered in Jean O’Neal’s yard in Bridesburg to learn about Home Composting 101 –  a beginner level class to teach how to decay solid waste so that it can be reused as fertilizer.  There are many reasons to compost: waste reduction, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and recycling nutrients back in to the soil.  When trash goes to a landfill, there is no oxygen reaching the decomposing matter and causes methane gas to be produced.  This kind of greenhouse gas absorbs the sun’s heat and warms the atmosphere.

Veteran composters shared how simple and adaptable composting can be, though it needs four things:  nitrogen (grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds), carbon (dead leaves, twigs) water and oxygen (aerate it to make sure air moves through it).  And participants got the chance to build their own compost container to take home.  Starting to compost now, means in early spring their homemade “black gold” will be ready to use on their lawns and gardens.

Thank you, Jean O’Neal for submitting the application for BIG funds and to Cathie Polakowski and Lisa Szybowski for lending their composting knowledge for a really great, educational program.  This was a great example of how we hope BIG could spur programming in Bridesburg.

Look for the next round of BIG funding to launch in early 2021.  Information can be found on our BIG page.