Worms thrive on molasses and soda
By Travis Doyle
The William R. Sinkin EcoCentro celebrated its one-year anniversary on Earth Day April 22.
The building, which showcases environmental and sustainability projects, is named after the late William B. Sinkin, a solar activist and former student and supporter of this college.
On Earth Day, the center sold aqua frescas at Funfest in the mall at this college and had an anniversary ceremony at the center that drew about 20 people.
Lisa Cervantes, environmental science sophomore and president of Students for Environmental Awareness, said in an interview during the day’s activities that EcoCentro is a part of San Antonio’s sustainable future.
She said students should know they can go to the center to learn about urban sustainability. The center is 1802 N. Main Ave.
Cervantes said she originally started working with EcoCentro after a meeting with Steven Lewis, the director of the service, trade and industry center, across Main Avenue on the west side of EcoCentro.
“Last year in spring, I heard there would be a presentation introducing EcoCentro as a green building, a building assessment and certification program, and this is where I met Steven,” she said. “I was talking to him about how our student organization and EcoCentro are doing the same thing — trying to create environmental awareness on campus,” Cervantes said.
“A year has gone by and SEA is now more of a student component, and now we want to involve students even if they aren’t an environmental science major. There are so many elements, and so many different aspects students can tap into.”
Environmental science sophomore Brian Garner, member of SEA, said he believes EcoCentro is the perfect place to harbor SEA because the center is a crossroads of ideas.
The building has multiple aspects of sustainability such as a worm farm, a community garden, solid waste reduction, water conservation and renewable energy. The center hosts workshops to educate the community on these activities.
EcoCentro project coordinator Leslie Bacon-Knopf said the worm farm is taking off recently after introducing molasses and soda into their diet.
“The worms really respond to the sugar. They are reproducing and making castings — the waste. They are working through the compost so fast, Bacon-Knopf said.
“They are quite industrious, and they do a lot of good for the soil.”
The center started with 300 worms, but over the course of the year that number has by increased 900,000.
The center also brought together students and faculty from other facilities such as the University of Incarnate word, Trinity University, Palo Alto College and this college on April 17 with their EcoExchangeEdu, a sustainability showcase.
For more information, visit the EcoCentro page, www.facebook.com/EcoCentro1.