Durham Magazine highlights NIEHS/EPA early learning center
By Eddy Ball
This summer, Durham Magazine writer Mark Griffin profiled the First Environments Early Learning Center (http://www.firstenvironments.org/) in a story titled “Eat (And Grow) Your Veggies.” (http://www.durhammag.com/blogs/durham-magazine-blog/healthful-school-lunches)
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The five-star childcare center, established in 1986 and located on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Triangle Park campus since 2005, serves children of employees and contractors at NIEHS and the EPA. Each year, students and teachers grow more than 600 pounds of pesticide-free produce in the center’s garden, and use the fresh vegetables for meals during the growing season.
Sustainability is an important part of the First Environments learning experience, for its nearly 200 infants, toddlers, and preschool children. In addition to its gardening program, the center features recycling and conservation activities, and uses rooftop solar panels to produce electricity for its facility and for resale to the grid.
NIEHS Employee Services Manager Dona McNeill is the NIEHS daycare liaison.