Sherri Hobson-Green owns a brownstone in Bedford-Stuyvesant. She’s also a mother, an entrepreneur, and now, a “green” community activist. “I’ve always loved gardening, and I’m very involved with working with my neighbors to beautify our Macon Street block by caring for the trees, and cultivating plants and flowers”, she shares. “I am passionate about greening. And it dawned on me that I could do more by turning my passion into transforming what is usually wasted space, our roofs, into living, breathing organisms that improve the quality of life in my community. The concept of greening my roof, and saving our planet, touched, moved and inspired me to take action.”
That movement led Sherri to learn everything she could about green roof technology. “I enrolled in a ‘Green Roof & Wall’ course at City Tech”, Sherri continues, “and it was amazing!” She learned that a green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and soil, or a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may include additional layers such as a root barrier, drainage and irrigation systems.
“What the course really educated me about,” Sherri explains, “were the long-term economic benefits green roofs offered me as a homeowner.” Green roofs have been found to dramatically improve a roof’s insulation value. A study conducted by Environment Canada found a 26% reduction in summer cooling needs and a 26% reduction in winter heat losses when a green roof is used. Greening a roof is also expected to lengthen a roof’s lifespan by two or three times, according to Penn State University’s Green Roof Research Center. Additionally, green roofs offer definite health benefits such as: a decreased need for health care services and medication due to the benefits of passive experiences with nature and vegetation, and from reductions in ground level ozone resulting from a reduction in the “urban heat island” effect.
Armed with her new knowledge, and determined to transform her vision of a greener, healthier Bed-Stuy into reality, Sherri reached out to Arn Ashwood, a community-based marketing and branding consultant, for help launching her green roof initiative. He recalls, “When Sherri laid out her plan to educate and mobilize community homeowners, small businesses, and institutions to embrace green roof technology, I was intrigued. My company, the LivingArts Marketing Group, in partnership with Urbanology Systems, a multicultural marketing and strategic management firm, have created a branding strategy called the Urban Green MovementTM, to promote the financing, design, construction and renovation of affordable, energy sustainable, “green” housing units that create “green” jobs. Sherri’s vision became the first initiative presented under the Urban Green MovementTM umbrella: the LivingLive (green) Roof ProjectTM.”
Meet the green team at the brownstoners table and learn more about the LivingLive (green) Roof ProjectTM and how it can empower and inspire your life on Saturday, April 25 at the Community Environmental Expo, an initiative of Project Green 2009, Von King Park Cultural Arts Center, Magnolia Tree Earth Center of Bedford Stuyvesant, Inc, and The Hattie Carthan Community Gardens. The event takes place in historic Herbert Von King Park, 670 Lafayette Avenue (bet. Tompkins/Marcy), Brooklyn, New York.