P.S.197 The Kings Highway Academy Brooklyn Sustainable City-Scape

The Sustainability Mural

The sustainability mural (pictured above) was created with the guidance of our arts partner, Material for the Arts (MFTA), by 15 classes from grades 2-5 using recycled materials like bottle caps, plastic bottles and straws that the entire school collected! 

Each class worked on a panel and not only created a unique piece of artwork using recycled materials, but they also highlighted the excessive waste in our society.  Our sustainability coordinator at the time, Mr.Richford, received a grant from the Office of Sustainability to fund the project, using MFTA as our arts partner.

Our vision is teaching our students about the problem with plastic in our environment. By teaching through the arts, students are more engaged and become passionate about the cause!

. We met with Edyta Halon (teaching artist from MFTA) and John Kaiser(office of education at MFTA) to discuss the scope of the project. We wanted to create a cityscape using recycled material depicting a sustainable city. We wanted to see: buildings with rooftop gardens, solar panels, wind turbines, recycling bins, trees, flowers and the iconic Parachute Jump in Coney Island, a Brooklyn  landmark.  Edyta  then took all the elements we suggested and created a sketch of the mural. We measured where the mural would be installed and created the pieces. Edyta  outlined the mural on  plexiglass. The PS197 community then started gathering materials for the mural. We wanted to incorporate anything plastic. We collected, plastic bags, bottle caps, water bottles, buttons, beads, old, unused math manipulatives, straws, sporks and anything else the students brought in.

The use of too much plastic is harmful to the environment and P.S. 197 supports reducing, reusing and recycling!

Each student from almost every class in our school got to work on a piece of the mural. We are very proud that so many students had a hand in the project and were impacted. They chose what material they wanted to work with and all of our classes had to work together with a shared vision to keep the mural pieces consistent.  

As you explore this mural - whether online or in person - as yourself and your children:

What kind of material was used?

Why is this a problem in our society?

How can we use less plastic in our lives?

What are some ways we can reduce the amount we use?

This project is a springboard for many lessons around sustainability and the role we play in keeping our planet healthy!

"The earth is what we all have in common....Love, cherish, and protect her....." 


PS197 is proud to have been awarded several

honors and grants for

our sustainability efforts!