3 York schools honoured for green thinking
York Region District School Board honoured green thinkers through its annual environmental recognition and awards program.
The board presented awards to Newmarket Crossland Public School, Richmond Hill Bayview Secondary School, King City Secondary School and the plant, energy and environmental services department.
The program is open to all public schools and departments. It is sponsored by the board eco team and was developed to support the board environmental policy while promoting the 4 Rs: rethink, reuse, reduce and recycle.
This year, applicants were asked to demonstrate their effort in strengthening partnerships, for example, by working with another school or the community at large.
Crossland created an outdoor classroom as a memorial to a teacher who died suddenly in 2011.
The circle garden became a catalyst for the students healing process and brought the school together to remember and celebrate a life, principal Gregory McClelland said.
The project involved the school, its council and eco club, Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario and other members of the greater school community.
The eco club maintains the garden.
Bayview took on a number of initiatives over the course of the year that culminated in an Earth festival, eco team leader Sally Joyce said.
Human rights and environmental organizations from across the province hosted workshops at the school to help staff and students understand social and enviro tiffany > tiffany nmental issues on a deeper level.
The idea is to encourage school community activism through direct engagement with community and non governmental organizations and artists promoting care and respect for the environment.
facilitators are grassroots organizations that are local and some that come from as far as Ottawa or London (Ontario), Ms Joyce said. Day has really turned into Earth Week, setting the tone for what issues we will be talking about all year. school held fair trade bazaars during which non governmental organ tiffany izations sold items and shared information about their projects overseas.
School club tiffany s, such as Free The Children, STOP Human Trafficking and working initiatives for Haiti, along with the art department, promoted or exhibited their work, Ms Joyce said.
The school held an organic cafe, no sweat fashion show, pow wow, tree planting, garbage pickup and litter less lunch days, made bed mats from milk bags for Haiti, completed a bird nesting program, reduced energy consumption, discouraged idling and promoted use of reusable water bottles and recycling.
The King City green team focused on improving waste management.
To draw attention to the issue, the team kicked off the year with a litterless lunch week and held others throughout the school year to remind students and staff of the importance of reducing waste.
To increase participation, students competed in trivia contests and were rewarded with cafeteria vouchers during these weeks.
The team also conducts waste audits and the results are presented to the school through announcements and display cases. The audits came about after the group met with the board plant services department and Aurora CleanRiver Recycling Solutions to help understand waste management in a school setting and create best practices for all secondary schools.
In collaboration with the school art council, a large environment mural is on display in the cafeteria to act as a visual reminder of the value of Earth and the need to take personal action.
The board plant, energy and environmental services department worked with the education and energy ministries to deploy eight photovoltaic systems, one hybrid voltaic solar wall system and two solar wall systems in 11 schools across the region.
Under the green schools pilot initiative, plant services proposed a hybrid electric thermal energy generation project.
In competition with schools from across Ontario, Richmond Hill Red Maple Public School was chosen to participate in the initiative.
Another proposal led to Markham David Suzuki Public School, Newmarket Dr. John M. Denison Secondary School, Newmarket High School and Keswick Jersey Public School being selected for a photovoltaic electricity generation project.
The department secured provincial funding for renewable energy projects at Maple Nellie McClung Public School, Thornhill Bayview Fairways Public School, Unionville High School, Vaughan Secondary School, Richmond Hill High School and Keswick High School.