DEEP: 2012 School GreenCircle Award Recipients

GreenCircle Award Recipients
2012 School Related

Name of School Facility

Category/Activity

Description of Activity

Avon Public Schools
Avon, CT

Execute changes that reduce annual energy or water consumption rates by more than 15%.

The Avon public schools implemented an Energy Conservation program through Energy Education Inc. (EEI), utilizing behavior modification techniques and HVAC programming to reduce energy (electricity, natural gas and water) consumption. The program was initiated on June 1, 2011 and to date their energy usage has been reduced by approximately 28% saving $160,000.00 when compared to energy bills for the same time period last year (corrected for weather differences). The program is ongoing and utilizing the services of an in house Energy Manager and consultants from EEI. The expected annual savings are projected to be approximately $300,000.00.

Old Saybrook Middle School, 4th Grade
Old Saybrook, CT

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 20, 2012. All 4th grade students spent 5 weeks working on projects to educate their families, teachers and students in grades 4-8. Topics included: how energy is used; ways to conserve energy; composting; reducing , reusing, recycling; green homes and green schools; farms of renewable and nonrenewable energy, and global warming.

Shepaug Valley School
Washington, CT

Promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats; implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property; voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental programs.

A garden club has been formed at the Shepaug Middle School (commenced on March 30, 2012). The project is intended to beautify the school grounds adjacent to the main entrance. A natural landscape design with plants that are native to their area in Washington, CT was created. The club is using sound environmental practices to preserve natural resources. Students created an environment that is attractive to various wildlife such as butterflies, frogs, birds. The students will research native plants and which are most productive to a garden that will endure over time. The goal is to have a beautiful garden that promotes biodiversity and benefits to all of the student population.
Club members will seek advice from local garden clubs, environmental groups and the University of CT extension center in Litchfield. The community, students, teachers, and local garden groups will be encouraged to participate. A long term maintenance program was established prior the summer break in June.

Warren School, 2nd Grade
Warren, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch 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 second grade class has continued to help to maintain the Community Garden. This year’s big project was to set up a new bird habitat for the Warren School outside of their classroom window. They have planted a bush for birds to enjoy and to rest in while feeding at the bird feeders. They have also put up bird and hummingbird feeders. They have maintained the flower garden outside of the third grade classroom that was started last year. They have also helped the first graders weed, mulch, and maintain the butterfly garden outside of the first grade classroom.

Families of Warren School
Warren, CT

Voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs.

The Families of Warren School continue to provide a major support system that aids to the sustainability of their school garden, Harvest of Dreams. Since the onset of the garden 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. This spring, parents will be joining on a Saturday to refurbish the garden pathways, swing set beds and greenhouse. Parents have also begun a "donate a brick" project that will create a special pathway through the peace arbor. It is due to this cooperative effort that the outreach garden is successful and is able to celebrate its 11th 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."

Warren School Community
Warren, CT

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

For eleven years now, Warren School has sustained a very successful schoolwide, outreach garden, Harvest of Dreams. It has been an integral part of the school community since 2002. The garden's success stems from a collaborative effort. Every student and staff member share the responsibilities of sowing, nurturing, transplanting, preparing beds and preparing veggies for their annual harvest luncheon. The sixth grade continues to host the luncheon, the whole school planting and garden tours to anyone interested in learning about their garden. Harvest of Dreams has become a model for other schools seeking to create a school garden. Families of Warren School maintain the garden throughout the summer and transport the harvested vegetables to area soup kitchen/food banks. Through the commitment of many hands throughout the community, the garden grows stronger than ever.

Kathi Brown & Alisa Wright
Warren School
Warren, CT

Voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs.

The year of 2012 will be a continuation of the refurbishment of the Secret Garden. The Secret Garden continues to offer a creative area to read and teach lessons for all staff and their classes.

In addition to the Secret Garden students have collected Keurig K cups or pods from the staff to reuse as seed starters. At this time these pods are not recyclable. Each class took old pods and removed the coffee from the pods, measured equal parts garden soil and seed starter soil and coffee grounds and placed that mixture in the pod and planted seeds. The soils and coffee were tested for acidity by the sixth grade. A short film was made by the students about the planting procedure and the amount of garbage these little cups make, spreading awareness that they should not trade convenience for conscience.

These vegetable plants will then be placed in their community, outreach garden and the flower plants will be planted in the Secret Garden.

Carol Leavitt
Warren School
Warren, CT

Donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects.

Warren School has two special needs children who will help to improve and maintain the school's nature trail. They will be involved in helping to pick up litter, spread wood chips on the trail and keep eyes on needs thereafter in terms of trail maintenance. These boys also help reduce use of electricity by hanging the maintenance cleaning cloths for the custodian on the line to dry after laundering.

Heather Mahar
Warren School, 1st Grade
Warren, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway, or beach for a year; implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property and donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects.

This year at Warren School, the first grade class has continued to help to maintain the Community Garden. They also weeded, mulched, and maintained their butterfly garden outside their classroom. They tie this into their curriculum by studying the lifecycle of butterflies. The class also maintains a butterfly, bird, and hummingbird feeder in their garden. In their classroom, they try to recycle all paper scraps and any plastic items that they need to discard.

Kathy Newton
Warren School, 4th Grade
Warren, CT

Promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats.

Warren School fourth graders took part in two projects this year. The first was Feederwatch, a program sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is an internet based program in which students help to count and track bird populations in the local area. The program began in October, and students set up two feeders outside of the classroom. Fourth grade families contributed the many pounds of black oil sunflower seeds that were consumed by the birds this year. Students observed, counted, and identified birds visiting the feeders twice a week, and this information was shared with the Cornell program. The program continued through April of 2012.

Secondly, fourth graders have again assumed responsibility for the Nature Trail. Many thanks to the Town of Warren Highway Crew for the several donations of woodchips. Students worked with Mr. Michael Leavitt to discuss trail health and safety, and then worked together to pick up litter and spread woodchips.
They are involved in an ongoing effort to update and maintain plant information and signs, and keep the trail accessible to students and town residents.

Leah Smith
Warren School, 6th Grade
Warren, CT

Voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs.

The sixth grade class at Warren School recycles the building's paper every week. The students collect each room's recycle bin and compiles it into a large storage bin. Each week, the storage bin is collected from an outside source. They also educate the younger students about the importance of cutting down on the overuse of paper. They show them how to reuse paper that could be utilized in another manner. Often they create new piles of paper for projects that can be used by the other classroom teachers.

Beth Ulrichsen
Warren School, 5th Grade
Warren, CT

Separate organic materials at schools or cafeterias for composting or animal feed.

The fifth grade class beautified the compost / recycling area in the cafeteria with an environmental mural. The mural helps younger students understand the composting process and encourages all who visit the school to compost, too. In addition to creating the mural, the fifth grade class continues to be in charge of Warren School's composting of lunch waste. The compost is used each spring to help add nutrients to the Harvest of Dreams Community Garden.

Joanne Woodington
Warren School, Kindergarten
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 Kindergarten class of Warren School worked to maintain and add to the pollinating garden outside their Kindergarten room. As a class they studied pollinators such as butterflies, bees, wasps, beetles, bats, flies, moths, and hummingbirds. They learned that 3/4 of their flowering plants as well as food crops depend upon pollinators. They discovered that no pollination would mean no vegetables in their Warren School garden as well. They worked to research the best flowers for their area to place in their garden.

They placed a hummingbird feeder in their garden and added flowers that are orange, yellow, or red in color that attract hummingbirds. They incorporated their study of the Warren School garden in their project, noting the flowering vegetables and how they need pollinators to produce vegetables.

Joanne Woodington
Warren School Student Council
Warren, CT

Sponsor a river, beach, or neighborhood clean-up day.

The Student Council of Warren School, in coordination with Arbor Day, organized its schoolwide Earth Day clean-up project. Student Council members assessed their school grounds and determined which areas needed to be addressed. The 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 and Arbor Day to their assigned groups.

 

GreenCircle Award Recipients | GreenCircle Award Program

Content Last Updated on June 21, 2012