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Village Green

An Experimental Monitoring Station at the Myriad Children's Garden

This park bench is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Village Green Project. It is a prototype air and weather monitoring system designed to measure air pollution where people work, play and live. Watch a time lapse installation video here.

Air Quality Right Here, Right Now

Sensors inside the bench measure ozone (O3) and fine particle pollution (PM2.5) which are the two most common air pollutants in our state. The bench also houses instruments to measure wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and temperature -- weather parameters key in determining the quality of the air.

Monitoring sites are normally field laboratories. The division operates more than two dozen sites across the state's 77 counties. The labs house pollutant monitoring equipment, computers, and meteorological instruments that require a controlled environment to produce consistent, reliable data that are comparable to sites in other states across the country. These sites produce data that is compared to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for compliance.

The Village Green Project is a smaller, lower cost, off-the-grid air monitoring station designed for public places. The site delivers air quality data that is relevant "right here, right now" so people better understand the impact of local air pollution. Though the data is expected to be consistent and reliable, it will not be used to determine compliance with national air quality standards.

What's the Big Deal?

The Village Green park bench is not connected to the power grid so it could be located almost anywhere.

Solar panels on top of the bench charge a battery inside that powers the monitoring station. The station transmits real-time weather data and pollutant concentrations to a Village Green database across the country then back to the sign next to the bench. The data can be accessed here, on a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

As computers get smaller and more durable, air pollutant monitoring gets more personal. These new portable stations may allow us to develop new monitoring strategies, identify more specific air pollutant trends, and find new solutions to air pollution.

A Lesson for Everyone

The Children's Garden is a learning experience and the Village Green park bench is another lesson. It's an opportunity for children to learn about the weather and air quality while they run and play and climb. The readout on the Village Green sign reports the current temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and rainfall as well as minute-by-minute concentrations of ozone and fine particle pollution.

The flag flying above the bench is a forecast of the day's air quality. The color is based on the Air Quality Index (AQI) that we post on our web page each weekday morning.

AQI flag colors

EPA has created an outdoor activity guide for students associating safe levels of activity with the five flags representing good to very unhealthy air quality. You'll find guidance for creating an Air Quality Flag Program on EPA's web page.

Visit the Village Green Bench

The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a 15-acre natural escape in the heart of Oklahoma City. It is open 6 a.m. to
11 p.m. daily. The Village Green Bench is in a garden playground created especially for children.

More about Village Green

Myriad Botanical Gardens

Village Green Data

EPA Village Green Project background information

EPA Region 6


Page last updated: March 2, 2016
 

 

Village Green Project
at the Children's Garden

 

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