Middle school students create “Green Rooms” at Nonantum Resort

IMG_1412Over the last eleven years, Middle School art students in Kennebunks have designed 31 rooms and 25 bathrooms in the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport.

Last week Linda and I were at the luxurious Nonantum Resort for our Travelin’ Maine(rs) weekly newspaper column. And while we were there, a celebration of this year’s “Green Room Project” was held. A large turnout of students and parents gathered to hear the praise of Middle School teachers and Nonantum’s General Manager Tina Hewett-Gordon, for the student’s fascinating project. I particularly enjoyed a presentation by two of the 24 students who participated in the project this year. They demonstrated a great understanding of the techniques needed to create environmentally-friendly “green” rooms.

From lighting to bedding, furniture to tile flooring, the students design and create the room, using a fixed budget. And the rooms are impressive.

IMG_1416As Mary McCarthy, one of the teachers, noted, “The kids are artistic and so creative. They really know they can do amazing things through a combination of passion and hard work.” Good lessons, for sure. The students looked at previously designed rooms, researched prices, made shopping lists, and shopped for the necessary items. They learned how to work together and even designed a descriptive brochure and invitations to the celebration.

It didn’t all go according to plan, noted Tina, due to contractor delays, but the kids were resilient and got the job done. Another life’s lesson. “No one ever believes 8th graders designed the rooms,” said Tina.

The brochure included a section explaining, “Why We Bought What We Bought.”

Paint- Low V.O.C. paint to minimize chemicals for safer sleeping environment.

Rugs – Our rugs our 100% natural fiber; wool has wonderful environmental benefits.

Lighting – Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10X longer than conventional lightbulbs. We have tried to provide proper lighting for reading, desk work, and atmosphere.

Bedding – 100% organic fabrics. Bedding is purchased locally through Cuddle Down, a Maine company known for their quality.

Flooring – Flooring is stranded bamboo which means the bamboo is twisted and therefore stronger. Bamboo comes in beautiful color tones to enhance the room.

The brochure also noted that, “Functionality, sustainability, price, quality, and design all play into our decision making. We have a love of nature and our ocean location. We try to reflect that love of Kennebunkport in our work.”

Room Designers

The students who designed this year’s green rooms are: Mia Banglmaier, Nicole Bilodeau, Elona Bodwell, Taylor Brooks, Riley Cerebona, Julia Connolly, Tiernan Connor, Emma Enis, Parker Fairfield, Isabel Fontain, Grace Girard, Kaylee Gregoire, Charlotte Johnson, Claudia Kenneway, Soudalath Luanglath, Lily McMahon, Ellen Neale, Isabelle Okwuosa, Chloe Spendlenhour, Abigail Stevenson, Sarah Weaver, Isabelle Wiggins, Emma Westley, and Allisoan Wuerthner.

Congratulations to all, for a job very well done!

Travelin’ Maine(rs)

If  you would like to read our travel column about Nonantum Resort, you can access it here.

George’s Outdoor News

In 2014, the Maine Press Association cited “George’s Outdoor News” as the state’s “Best Sports Blog.”

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.