Meadow Crest custodian recognized as ‘Earth Hero’

Nick Charles has been named 2016 King County Earth Hero.

Nick Charles, custodian at Meadow Crest Early Learning Center, has been named a 2016 King County Earth Hero. Charles is being celebrated for his work at Meadow Crest to protect and enhance the natural environment, while also teaching children the importance of healthy living and sustainability.

Charles leads a team of students, teachers and staff at Meadow Crest who work each day through conservation actions to contribute to a healthier planet, including waste reduction, reuse or recycling; food waste prevention or food waste collection for composting; and climate change education and greenhouse gas emissions reduction change.

Charles uses outdoor planters to work with children to plant mini vegetable gardens so the pre-school-aged children can see how food grows and be willing to try to eat more vegetables. He also has a plan to create an exhibit outside of his office that displays various plastic materials in a kind of terrarium with a calendar that displays the days, weeks, months and years it takes for plastic to decompose.

“I know that display will have to be around for 90 years or so—long after I am gone—because plastic doesn’t break down very fast,” Charles said in a press release. He said that he hopes it will teach children about what they use and how to be better consumers and stewards of the environment.

Charles will be recognized at ceremony on May 5 at Maplewood Greens.