Roll Into a Greener Gables!

Annie Farrell- Staff Writer, Orestes Gonzalez- Photographer

In an effort to further “greenify” Gables, Gables Earth, a club devoted to making Gables an eco-friendly place, has recently installed a bicycle rack in front of the auditorium for students to safely secure their bikes while carrying on with their busy school day.

“We [Gables Earth] make Coral Gables High a more friendly place, both for the environment and its students. Through various projects, we strive to improve Gables both aesthetically and environmentally. This year, we installed the bike rack, a water barrel, re-vamped the garden in the IB patio and planned independent events for members. For next year, we have preliminary plans to refurnish a large fish tank, add a solar-powered pump to the water barrel, further improve the garden and install benches,” Gables Earth president, senior Nicolas Viglucci said.

Last year,senior Carla Steighorst put Gables Earth in contact with the former commissioner of Coral Gables and Gables High alumnus, Ralph Cabrera, and he donated $600 for the installation of a standard bicycle rack. However, this year’s new Gables Earth sponsor, Ms. Fraga, decided at the beginning of the school year that she wanted to incorporate a more elaborate design into the bike rack. Viglucci hastily jumped on this opportunity and designed the extravagant bicycle rack that now sits on the Le Jeune side with the help of two very instrumental fellow Gables Earth members, seniors Jose Balcazar and Alexa Alcalay.

Throughout the entire school year, Gables Earth banded together as a club and tried to raise more money for the bicycle rack through member fees, candy sales, and a woodworking workshop.

After doing all they could, the club still fell short of the $3,500 it would cost to put the rack in. Generously, Mr. Max Alcalay, a proud parent of two current Cavaliers, stepped in and donated the remainder for the bicycle rack.

With the new bicycle rack now having a place on Gables’ campus, there comes the hope that more and more students will start riding their bikes to school. Gables Earth even plans to reward those who bike to school by leaving treat bags on their bicycles. As of now, a measly 11% of children in the U.S. ride their bikes to school, as indicated in a survey done by the Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) in 2012. Choosing to simply walk, carpool, or ride a bike to school does not only help promote and develop a healthy lifestyle for children, but it also introduces them to the application of greener alternatives in their daily lives. Teaching others to preserve the earth for a better tomorrow is Gables Earth’s goal.

“I can’t wait to start riding my bike to school. I have done it before, but I was always wary of where I put it since there was no bike rack. I am lucky to live so close to the school where I have the chance to ride my bike. It’s fun and I know I am doing my part to help the environment,” junior Tomas Nieves said.

With Gables Earth’s guidance, Gables is looking at a greener future.