DEEP: 2011 School GreenCircle Award Recipients

GreenCircle Award Recipients
2011 School Related

Name of School Facility

Category/Activity

Description of Activity

Algonquin School
Prospect, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, strech of highway, or beach for a year.

Mrs. Anna Muharem, a parent volunteer at Algonquin School, developed a program called "Algonquin Students Reach for the Stars and Care about the World Organization". During library time, Mrs. Muharem introduced students to the "Green Team" and did a mini-lesson on Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. With the assistance of students and their families, a community garden was planned out and executed at Algonquin School. Throughout the summer volunteers tended the garden. This year produced a large crop that was donated to a local soup kitchen. Mrs. Muharem will be continuing the program again this year due to the success of last school year's "Green Team".

Algonquin School Library
Prospect, CT

Successfully implement an innovative and unique pollution prevention plan or recycling program that generates an environmental benefit.

Algonquin School Library has participated in recycling old cell phones and ink cartridges since 2004. This year the library has expanded its program to include the recycling of empty glue sticks and bottles, scotch tape rolls and containers, and plastic bottles and cans. They are also collecting used batteries - all of which will be disposed of properly. Proceeds generated from their efforts have gone back into the library fund, used to purchase new materials, and for building improvements. With the expansion of the program they will also be donating proceeds to two local charities. Students at Algonquin School throughout the year participate in mini-lessons while in the library on the importance of recycling and conservation. Awareness is raised for Connecticut Recycles Day and Earth Day.

Mary M. Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School
Hartford, CT

Design and develop building projects that fulfill Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification requirements.

The Mary M. Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School is the first LEED Gold certified school built in Connecticut. The construction of the facility, with an eye toward the LEED green building certification program, started in April 2009. Among the many features are a 60-kilowatt co-generation system to power and heat the building; sensors to adjust lighting intensity based upon the level of natural light; a heating and cooling system set at a constant 74 degrees that can adjust to various temperatures in different areas of the building; a white roof to reflect heat; and waterless urinals. All of the building's components were made within 500 miles, and 98 percent of the materials demolished during the construction were recycled. Among the many features added for the environmental studies curriculum is an ecosystem in the lobby of the school where students can learn about fish, plants and water that originate from Connecticut; an aquatics lab to study marine life from various Connecticut water bodies; a vivarium with live butterflies and plants; a greenhouse where students will grow plants for the ecosystem, the vivarium and the cafeteria; and a 3-D interactive science theater. The Mary M. Hooker School's LEED Gold certification put environmental sustainability at the forefront of students' learning.

Old Saybrook Middle School
Old Saybrook, CT

Voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, and donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects.

The fourth grade science teachers organized and held an Earth Day Energy Expo on April 15, 2011. All 4th grade students spent about six weeks working on projects to educate their families, teachers and students in grades 5th - 8th regarding ways to conserve energy, how energy is used, and renewable and non-renewable forms of energy.

Warren School, 1st Grade
Warren, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, strech of highway, or beach for a year and implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property.

This year at Warren School, the first grade class has continued to help to maintain the Community Garden. They have weeded, mulched, and maintained their butterfly garden. The class also maintains a butterfly feeder, a bird feeder, and a hummingbird feeder in their garden. In their classroom, they try to recycle all paper scraps and any plastic items that they need to discard.
They made terrariums by recycling plastic 2 liter soda bottles to learn about what makes a plant a living thing and how they have different structures that allow them to meet their basic needs. They also planted sunflower seeds in their classroom and transplanted them to the Harvest of Dreams garden. They did this to learn about the life cycle of plants.

Warren School, 3rd Grade
Warren, CT

Promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats.

The third grade class at Warren School decided to enhance the bird area outside the fourth grade classroom by offering their feathered friends bird friendly plants. Students learned about different kinds of plants and the environmental role they have. Students chose to plant a berry producing plant and a few perennials. Both will offer food and materials for the birds to build their nests.

Warren School, 4th Grade
Warren, CT

Promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats and implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property.

The fourth grade students at Warren School are responsible each year for maintaining their school's Nature Trail. Students make repairs to existing signs which house information. They also update facts which they uncover through research on seasonal plants. Students obtain information on these plants through the internet and consultations with Mr. Jeffrey Greenwood at the White Memorial Conservation Center. Students use the knowledge they gain to conduct tours of the trail for parents and other students at Warren School.

Warren School, 5th Grade
Warren, CT

Promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats; implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property; donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects and adopt a vacant lot, park community garden, stretch of highway, or beach for a year.

The fifth grade class is in charge of daily collecting and depositing of appropriate cafeteria waste into the compost bucket at the end of the lunch. They help manage what is placed into the bucket by assisting younger students in learning how and what to compost. The students then dump the compostable materials into their Garden of Dreams compost pile (rain or shine). The compost made at school is used in their school's garden. (The produce from the garden continues to be given to area soup kitchens).

In addition, the Warren School fifth grade class created murals, through an all school beautification project, that helped to transform the Secret Garden into area that helps to teach others about the importance of caring for the Earth and encourages students and teachers to get outside and explore. The following enhanced the students' experience: used paints were donated to be used in their project, rather than just disposing of them they just had a discussion on how to properly dispose of paints; class discussions about the environment and how each one of them has a personal responsibility to the Earth, one person's action does matter; they also brainstormed phrases (incorporated into their murals) to create an awareness of environmental issues to help all that enter their garden to learn ways to help care for the Earth; a tree was planted in honor of all of their hard work and to help remind them that they can make a difference.

Warren School, 6th Grade
Warren, CT

Donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects.

This year, the sixth grade class at Warren School collected the building's paper waste weekly for recycling. Each student was responsible for checking each recycling bin (in the classrooms, offices, and library) and depositing the discarded paper into a large bin. This bin is picked up by an outside company and the paper is shredded once a month.
The students were responsible for reorganizing and refurbishing the greenhouse at the school's Harvest of Dreams Garden. Students cleaned out the interior of the greenhouse by replacing broken containers with others that were not in use. They restained the exterior with environment-friendly paint. This class cleaned out and refurbished/replanted the herb garden and instructed the younger students how to clean up and maintain the pathways between the beds.

Westbrook Energy Conservation Youth Team
Westbrook, CT

Donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects.

A conservation awareness project was initiated by the town and approved by school administrators in 2009. Students of all ages and talents teamed up to create a logo, props, song and a skit. An "Energy Patrol" program began in January; the Daisy Ingraham Elementary School was the main focus. An original skit and song were presented to K-4 by high school students to introduce the concepts. Fourth grade students began weekly classroom audits to track energy saving habits. The top scoring class each month won a stuffed polar bear. The K-4 students also participated in home activities: installing CFLs, turning down the heat, turning off the water when brushing teeth, and not drinking bottled water. "Green" rewards were given to participants.

A music video with the original song was also created, and it featured various Westbrook groups including scouts, dancers, theatre students, conservation groups, and even the selectmen.

Woodland Regional High School - DM3 Hawk Productions
Beacon Falls, CT

Voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, DEP fish and wildlife projects, water quality monitoring programs, or lake, river or watershed associations.

This past spring 2010, Ralph Riello (Media and Technology teacher) and students Ryan Frechette (lead), Jacob Hawes and Emily Marcoux (and class) in his Digital Media & Movie Making Production Unit at Beacon Falls Regional High School completed production of a 7.5 minute video documentary about the Naugatuck River called "DM3 Hawk Productions".

"The Naugatuck River" was created to tell the story of the riverís past and present, describe its legacy of pollution and remarkable improvement, encourage others in the community to enjoy this natural resource, and inspire individuals that they can make a difference by participating in activities that continue to improve and protect the river. The film primarily focuses on the section of the Naugatuck River from Platts Mill (Waterbury) to Beacon Falls.
The documentary has been posted on You tube and may also be used by CT Outdoors, a Watertown canoe and kayak outfitter, to educate the public about the Naugatuck River.

Kathi Brown
Warren School
Warren, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, strech of highway, or beach for a year and donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects.

The year 2011 reflects a continuation of the refurbishment of the Secret Garden. In coordination with the fifth grade, all students will paint the exterior doors of the library with scenes from the "Lorax" by Dr. Seuss honoring their Read For A Tree Project. Students have been reading since March 2nd to earn their tree from the Arbor Association which they will take home to plant.
A tree will also be planted in the Secret Garden during their Arbor Day celebration. The Secret Garden continues to offer a creative area to read and teach lessons for all staff and their classes.

Carol Leavitt
Warren School
Warren, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, strech of highway, or beach for a year and donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects.

Carol Leavitt works as a special education teacher at Warren Elementary School. She has been involved in environmentally friendly programs such as running an outdoor plant hospital where students learn how to rehabilitate houseplants. They water, prune, repot, take cuttings and give general care to indoor plants. This enhances student self esteem as they provide a service that beautifies the building and saves plant life. They now have a life skills program for two new students.

They are learning how to wash and dry clothes, and the school has opted to teach them how to dry clothing on a clothesline to save energy. Students began a new recycling project this year in conjunction with a new breakfast program. They collect the brown bags used to pack the breakfasts. They then refold and clip them together by name so that the kitchen can reuse the bags several times before replacing the bags, eliminating the need to use new bags each day.

Anna Muharem
Algonquin School
Prospect, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, strech of highway, or beach for a year.

Mrs. Anna Muharem a parent volunteer at Algonquin School developed a program called "Algonquin Students Reach for the Stars and Care about the World Organization." During library time, Mrs. Muharem introduced students to the "Green Team" and did a mini-lesson on Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. With the assistance of students and their families a community garden was planned out and executed at Algonquin School. Throughout the summer, volunteers tended the garden. This year the garden produced a large crop that was donated to a local soup kitchen. Mrs. Muharem will be continuing the program again this year due to the success of last school year's "Green Team".

Kathy Newton
Warren School
Warren, CT

Separate organic materials at schools or cafeterias for composting or animal feed and promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats.

This year, Kindergarten has been involved in both habitat preservation and composting. They currently have a worm farm in the classroom - students care for the worms by ensuring that organic matter (and especially scraps from their snacks!) go into the worm farm to become compost. They regularly collect the liquid byproduct (worm tea) for the plants in the room and out. They have done lots of talking about the "pollinators" (Ms. Newton is also a beekeeper) and have planted sunflowers in egg cartons to both go home with students and add to the pollination garden outside of the 2nd Grade room. And finally, they made a sign using recycled materials to identify and protect the milkweed plants outside of the school.

Kevin Ulrichsen
Warren School
Warren, CT

Promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats; implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property and donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects (e.g., projects or programs promoted by youth groups, community based organizations, businesses, or governmental entities).

This year the fourth grade Weboloes of Boy Scout Pack 341, under the direction of Mr. Kevin Ulrichsen, designed and constructed new posts for the Warren School Nature Trail. The signs for the trail were nine years old and needed replacing. They were able to recycle the tops of the signs and attach new posts that were more "student friendly" which means that students are now able to move the signs by themselves in the rocky soil on the trail. Supplies for the project were donated by Northwest Lumber.

Leonard Willis
Warren School, 5th Grade
Warren, CT

Promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats; implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property and donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects (e.g., projects or programs promoted by youth groups, community based organizations, businesses, or governmental entities).

Mr. Leonard Willis from Arbor Services graciously donated wood chips to the Warren School's current fifth grade class. This allowed the fifth graders to spend a day spreading new chips on the school's Nature Trail. Mr. Willis and his son, Jacob, organized the entire operation. Students took turns hauling chips in wagons and buckets and spreading the chips evenly along the trail.

Joanne Woodington
Warren School Student Council
Warren, CT

Sponsor a river, beach, or neighborhood clean-up day and successfully implement an innovative and unique pollution prevention plan or recycling program that generates an environmental benefit.

The Student Council of Warren School, in coordination with the school Arbor Day celebration, organized a schoolwide Earth Day clean-up project. Student Council members assessed the school grounds and determined which areas needed to be addressed. Student council representatives acted as group leaders meeting with individual classes, assigning areas to be cleaned, and organizing the materials needed to do the job, such as rakes, gloves, trash bags, etc. They also explained the purpose and importance of Earth Day to their assigned groups.

In addition, the Warren School has placed recycling bins in each classroom for plastic bottles, cans and glass. Each week the fourth and fifth grade Student Council members lead by Joanne Woodington are responsible for collecting these bins and depositing them in the school's larger container, which is placed at the school's curb for pick up each week.

Joanne Woodington, 4th Grade
Warren School
Warren, CT

Implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property and voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs.

The fourth grade of Warren School was involved in Project Feeder Watch. Project Feeder Watch is an internet-based project that works with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, one of the largest research teams in North America, to help tally and track populations of birds in their area. A bird feeder was purchased and set up. Beginning in October, students researched on the internet the birds most commonly sited in Connecticut's Northwest region. From November - March students observed and recorded the birds that visited their feeder. Students learned how to identify birds using the Peterson Bird ID Guide. Other lessons included bird migration, types of beaks, feeding habits, nesting, etc. Each student kept a journal of the birds they observed which included pictures and interesting facts on each species.

Alisa Wright
Families of Warren School
Warren, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, strech of highway, or beach for a year.

The Families of Warren School have been a vital part of helping to sustain their school garden, Harvest of Dreams. From the beginning in 2002, they have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the garden throughout the summer and transporting the harvested vegetables to area soup kitchens and food banks. Families do a wonderful job keeping on top of all the weeds, watering, staking, etc. It is due to this cooperative effort that their outreach garden is successful and is able to celebrate its 10th growing season.

The Warren School community is very proud of this initiative and the positive impact it has on those in need. They really do live by Margaret Mead's statement: Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that has.

Alisa Wright
Warren School
Warren, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, strech of highway, or beach for a year.

Warren School's Harvest of Dreams has entered into its 10th growing season. It has been an integral part of the school community since 2002. This year, the structured coordination of the garden changed. Responsibilities of sowing, nuturing, transplanting, preparing beds and cooking veggies for harvest luncheon are now shared by the entire school. The sixth grade continues to host the luncheon, conducts school planting and conducts tours to anyone interested in learning about their garden.
Families of Warren School maintain the garden throughout the summer and transport the harvested vegetables to area soup kitchen/food banks. To celebrate this 10th anniversary, they plan to create a cookbook not only displaying many of the recipes prepared for luncheons and cookoffs, but also highlight events from its beginning. Through the commitment of many hands throughout the community, the garden continues to grow as strong as ever.

 

GreenCircle Award Recipients | GreenCircle Award Program

Content Last Updated on August 1, 2011