Essex County News

Montclair Kimberley Academy Celebrates Earth Day with Opening of New Green Roof

Tom Nammack, Head Master of Montclair Kimberly Academy, officially opens the Green Roof that serves as a unique learning experience for the students and the entire MKA community. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Tom Nammack, Head Master of Montclair Kimberly Academy, with teachers and Sustainability Coordinators Ben Rich and Laura Zimmerman. Credits: Bobbie Peer
The sedum plantings and recycled glass provide insulation to the Academic Center. The solar tubes allow sunlight beneath to reduce the use of artificial lighting. Credits: Bobbie Peer
The planters were constructed by students and some contain pollinator plants that attract bees, butterflies and humming birds. Credits: Bobbie Peer
The Sun Dial will be used by the Astronomy Class. Credits: Bobbie Peer
The Weather Station uses the WeatherBug APP, part of a network of weather stations that spans the globe. Credits: Bobbie Peer
The Academic Center, a project involving the renovation of the library along with 3,800 sq ft of new space including an Idea Lab and Offices. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair Kimberley Academy (MKA) is abuzz with activities this spring involving their Kindergarten through 12th grade students and their new Green Roof that boasts spectacular views of the New York City skyline. The Green Roof officially opened on Tuesday, April 18, in time to celebrate Earth Day at their Upper School campus on Lloyd Road.

"MKA is a great place to grow," said Ben Rich, Science teacher and Sustainability Coordinator for the Upper School at MKA, who explained how the new space of the Green Roof serves as a unique learning experience for the students and the entire MKA community, providing a plethora of curricular and resource savings benefits.

"We are committed to leading the way among private schools in terms of sustainability and efficient use of our resources," said Rich. "The Green Roof demonstrates this leadership and provides us with incredible space to intimately experience nature in a densely populated suburban environment."

Sign Up for E-News

The Green Roof is perched on the roof of the new Academic Center, a project that included the renovation of the existing library along with an additional 3,800 square feet of space. The combined $7 million project was funded by a number of sources that included grants from the Hyde and Watson Foundation, as well as a $50,000 matching grant by E. E. Ford Foundation which was matched by alumni, parents and administration, said Tom Nammack, MKA Headmaster.  "This will be a real magnet for the school, K through 12," he said.

Nammack said the idea for the Green Roof was inspired by a visit to the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown. The foundation houses a LEED Platinum facility with interesting design features. "We were captivated by their roof top garden," he said. "The Board of Trustees felt that we should create an education space with the new roof on the Academic Center."

MKA recently received their LEED Silver Certification which is the most widely used green building rating system. The LEED components to the Green Roof include the Weather Station which utilizes the WeatherBug App, providing regular global reports from the roof; garden beds; classroom space; a vegetated roof of sedum plants and recycled glass that adds to the insulation in terms of heating and cooling; solar tubes that bring sunlight inside the Academic Center, reducing the need or artificial lights; and the white roof reflects the sun's light and heat from the building to conserve on air conditioning usage.

The Silver Certification not only saves the school money by using the building for energy conservation, the roof gardens and vegetation also help the surrounding community by reducing storm water runoff. "The rain falls on the roof, the soil and plants absorbs the water which reduces the storm water runoff," said Rich. "This allows us to interact not just with our own community but with the surrounding community."

Laura Zimmerman, MKA Middle School science teacher and Sustainability Coordinator, explained how the students have been involved in the design of the garden boxes and built the planters made from FCC certified wood.

"The students planted pollinator species to help the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds," said Rich. "There has been a great bee die off recently. This demonstrates to students and parents how we connect to the local echo system and to the world around us."

Rich also explained that specific planters are being used to test genetically modified plants compared to organic. The students are also experimenting with nutrient variables to test how plants adapt to different levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and how it affects the growing process.

Many Green Roofs are passive and are designed to insulate the building and the sedum to absorb the water and sunlight, said Rich. "There are many interactive features for the students and visitors to learn about that it will become itself a learning environment."  

Zimmerman, a Sustainability Coordinator and teacher in the Middle School, said the WeatherBug App can be downloaded and the students use interactive modulars on their iPad for statistics, while the youngest of students can check the app for the barometric pressure to determine what to wear.

Each of the schools will also be involved in the design of murals and paintings to leave their mark and be involved with the space, said Zimmerman. 

MKA administrators, teachers and students are encouraged to use the roof for performance art, photography, astronomy, yoga, relaxation and for pure enjoyment.  

About Montclair Kimberley Academy (MKA): Montclair Kimberley Academy is a school of thought that turns inquiry into insight. They intentially foster balance in students' lives so they can develop their infinite potential in and out of the classroom. Embracing a contagious go-fo-it attitude; students confidently try anything on their distinct educational adventures, guided by faculty who love to learn and live to teach. As diverse as it is united, their community is strengthened by a commitment to good character, and together they celebrate each student's success, individually defined. MKA is located in Montclair, NJ. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Spring is (Almost) Here

Get ready for farmers markets and outdoor events, spring is bound to come at some point! To help you get ready Sadie's has lots of new spring products including this great Market Tote by Feed- the purchase of this cute everyday bag will donate 50 school meals. While stopping in for this tote check out some of the other great spring items just in. Don't forget the charity of the month is ...

Feeling Lucky

Shop of the morning to you! It’s that time of year when everyone’s color is green! Stop by Sadie's to get your St. Patty’s shirt before the big day. While your here and feeling lucky check out our latest Spring styles for Men and Women. You may make your friends green with envy.

Horoscope: Have a birthday between 3/13 and 3/24? If you stumble into a ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


South Orange Police Blotter - Adult Arrests for Shoplifting and DWI Reported

March 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of March 16

Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Home Burglary, Burglary at DeHart Community Center Reported

March 4 - Burglary; At approximately 1:20 a.m., officers observed a male removing several items from inside DeHart Community Center. The male was identified as 22 year old Joe Carr of Irvington. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

March 6 - Burglary; At approximately 11:30 a.m., officers responded to a home on Broadview Avenue on a report of a ...

Maplewood Senior Center Holds Grand Opening on St. Patrick's Day

March 21, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Senior Center has been open on Burnett Avenue for several months and this past Saturday, Maplewood Township officials, many seniors and community members held a grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting officially dedicating the center.

As Saturday was the St. Patrick's Day holiday, the Senior Center celebration included green bagels ...

Maplewood to Hold Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 25

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Hop on down to Maplewood's Spring Egg Hunt! Maplewood will hold its 34th annual hunt on Sunday, March 25, from noon to 2 p.m. in Memorial Park.

An email from the Maplewood Recreation Department states to "please arrive promptly at noon with a basket or bag to make sure you don’t miss anything."

At last year's event, hundreds of kids ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality


Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Conference Room A/B, First Floor, Livingston

Colon Cancer Screening Education Program at Saint ...

Health & Wellness

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Boccone South, South Orange

A Taste of Italy

Food & Drink

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Hundreds Cheer on Marchers and Bands at 67th West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Even a week’s delay caused by a massive snowstorm couldn’t dampen the spirits of the large crowd of spectators who cheered on the marchers and bands who participated in West Orange’s 67th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday.

Wending their way up Main Street were more than 25 bands, including marching bands from northern New Jersey high ...

Members of Brick City Brims Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

NEWARK, NJ – Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.

Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Union Animal Control Officer

March 17, 2018

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Springfield Residents Cope as Power Slowly Returns

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - As of Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. Springfield is showing outage of 2,677 or 25 percent, which is down from over 40 percent in the last two hours. It is also down from 68 percent at the peak. Union County at this point is over 20 percent of JCP&L’s statewide outages. Trucks are visible on Township streets with a caravan spotted on ...

Winter Storm Update from South Orange

March 21, 2018

New Jersey and Essex County has announced Emergency Declarations which South Orange will also have in affected March 21, 2018, 9 :00 a.m. Please move all vehicles from the road way to allow for the Department of Public Works (DPW) to clear the roads.

Village Municipal Offices, Library and the Baird Community Center will be closed.
Please see a detailed forecast and more information ...

Storm Advisory from Maplewood

Winter Storm Information – Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – 4:00pm

1) Emergencies – Please call 911 if you have an emergency. You can also call 973-762-1234 for a direct connection to a police dispatcher. Do not call the Fire Department or Public Works. Call the police at 911 or 973-1234.

2) Jitneys – The Maplewood Jitneys will operate ...

Summer Camp at Lightbridge Academy in Millburn

If you are looking for a fun-filled summer for your little ones, look no further!

Lightbridge Academy in Millburn is providing a summer camp program with tons of exciting guests, water play activities, and so much more!

Call us at 973-218-1800 to learn about what we have to offer.