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June 5, 2012

USEE completes first year of The Utah Green Schools Awards Program

Schools saved money on utility costs and supplies? Students were engaged in hands-on place based learning that connected them to their communities? Parents heard their children sing about recycling?!

That’s right! Third graders at Bonneville Elementary partnered with Utah Opera to write and perform a “Go Green” opera for parents, students, and Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker. Alta High’s Earth Club launched a school wide “Staying Green After Earth Day” campaign to promote walking and biking to school, recycling, and reusable water bottles. Second graders at the McGillis School installed winter hoops in their garden for year round lettuce cultivation, and Rowland Hall added battery and glass recycling to their already impressive recycling program. All of these initiatives, and countless more, were implemented by these schools as part the Utah Society for Environmental Education’s brand new Utah Green Schools Awards Program.

The Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE) is pleased to announce that the McGillis School, Rowland Hall and Bonneville Elementary are recipients of the Platinum Utah Green Schools Award. Alta High’s Earth Club has received the Bronze Utah Green Schools Award.

The 2011-2012 school year was the pilot year for USEE’s new program. Through the efforts of students, teachers, administrations, parents, and janitorial staff, these four schools have made significant and inspiring strides towards sustainability. They have become leaders in the state’s green school movement.

Projects and initiatives completed in this program are categorized under 4 pillars: Sustainable Facilities, Sustainable Practices, Environmental Education, and Community Involvement. A school, classroom, or club that has achieved the Platinum level of the Utah Green Schools Awards Program has made efforts in all four of the pillars. A school, classroom, or club that has achieved the Bronze level of recognition has made efforts in one of the four pillars.

In addition to the plaques and certificates the schools have received this spring; USEE will be kicking off the 2012-2013 school year with a fall tree planting and flag raising ceremony for the platinum schools.

USEE is looking forward to growing this program in the coming years and will be promoting it as a way to decrease the operational costs of schools, improve the health and education of students, and conserve limited resources.

Utah Society for Environmental Education Mission Statement: To promote excellence in environmental education by providing support, resources and networking to Utah's community of educators

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