Preuss School Projects


The Preuss Garden Group works with students in the Ecology Club of Preuss, a middle/high school located at UCSD’s perimeter. The projects we work on are based on its sustainability, the needs of the garden and the ability to involve students. Click to see our Mission, Vision, and Goals!

Meeting place: Preuss Garden (5 min from UCSD campus); nearest intersection: Voigt Dr x Campus Point Dr

Contact: Tyler McHenry. Email:

Projects Going On

Compost Bin


The students from the Preuss Garden Group plan to build two compost bins that will recycle the waste from the high school into a reusable nutrient rich soil.

We will be building compost bins that are loosely based on these models shown below, while also adding a few changes of our own. This will give the students hands-on experience with the process of composting and will also provide them with background knowledge on how to build their own composting structures.

What We’ve Done:
We’ve bought the materials and will begin construction in 1-2 weeks.


4 person Lorax bench


Truffula tree stumps

Lorax Bottle Bench


We plan to build a 4 person bench made from mortar (a mixture of sand, dirt, and clay) and “bottle bricks” (plastic bottles stuffed with dry trash). In order to gain experience, we will first build 4 stumps and paint them to look like truffula trees from “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss. We hope this will educate and inspire students to be more conscious about their waste production. Similar benches have been constructed around the world and on other campuses.


We will first collect 120 finished bottle bricks. Craigslist will provide common materials such as clay and sand. After all materials have been collected, we will work with the student s on a weekend and build the bench.

What We’ve Done

We have collected around 50 bottles and plan to finish construction of the four stumps by winter quarter.

Tool Table (Past Project)


Plants for a future plant sale

Due to a lack of space to store tools in the Preuss Garden, we decided to construct a table.

Following this guide, we cut 2×4 wood into various lengths and attached them to form the frames you see in the picture at left. The two frames will be nailed onto table legs, secured by steel brackets, and attached to a 5′ x 2.5′ plywood top. This table will then be lacquered, resulting in a strong waterproof table ready to hold tools!

We are currently in the construction phase and aim to be finished by the end of Winter quarter 2011!

Rain Barrel Collection System (Past Project)


This project was inspired by the idea to collect the roof runoff from a building in Preuss. Our Rain Barrel Collection System features a rain barrel that will be attached to the building’s gutters. The water from the gutters will then be diverted into our system, filtered from debris and used to irrigate nearby plants. It is elevated in order to fill a watering can. The rain barrel is a visual reminder that water is constantly being saved!