Congratulations to Ohio’s Green Ribbon Schools
Release date: 4/23/2012
The Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio School Facilities Commission and the Ohio Department of Health partnered with the Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO) to promote, facilitate and select Ohio’s nominees. The three schools selected as state designees and nominated for the national recognition were; Loveland High School, Hamilton County; North Adams Elementary School, Adams County and St. Ignatius High School, Cuyahoga County.
“I extend my congratulations to these innovative Ohio schools, their educators and school community,” said State Superintendent Stan Heffner. “These schools are an excellent example of the great achievements being made in the state by fostering environmental awareness, providing a collaborative learning experience and instilling a commitment to the local community.”
“The Environmental Education Council of Ohio was proud to collaborate on this effort to recognize Ohio schools that are true examples of environmental stewardship,” said Brenda Metcalf EECO Executive Director. “It was a rewarding experience working with these schools through the application process and an honor to nominate them for the national designation. These schools have put forth a tremendous effort to maintaining a ’green-friendly’ school environment.”
Ohio schools that received an honorable mention include; Berkshire Local Schools, Geauga County; Mayfield City Schools, Cuyahoga County; Medina Christian Academy, Medina County; and Ontario Local Schools, Richland County.
Ohio is one of the 29 states participating in the 2011-2012 pilot year of the new Green Ribbon Schools recognition program launched by the USDOE. The goal of the program was to recognize schools across the nation where staff, students, officials and communities have come together to produce energy-efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments.
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About the winners:
Loveland High School, Loveland, Ohio
In the last two years, comprehensive programs have been initiated and implemented in the Loveland District that resulted in a reduction of environmental impacts. In order to reduce Green House Gas emissions, the district implemented an Energy Improvement Plan and obtained $6 million of interest-free financing provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It was a first of its kind to be completed in Ohio and the sixth in the nation. Programs in the school that contribute to their designation as a Green Ribbon School include: school bus emissions reductions; water use and efficiency programs in the school building and grounds, including athletic fields; reducing the hazardous waste stream to 0 lbs per student from lab activities; movement toward a paperless school – more activities on electronic devices rather than paper; and student- initiated recycling activities and programs to better the school environment.
North Adams Elementary, Seaman, Ohio
North Adams Elementary School (NAES) opened in 2009, and since that time has become a leader in environmental sustainability and the promotion of a “green” culture to staff, students and community. The building design has many sustainable features, including a geothermal HVAC system, daylight harvesting and variable room lighting. In May 2011, NAES received its first Energystar® label. In June 2011, NAES began using solar energy by adding more than 1,250 solar panels to the to the building’s rooftop. Additional programs in the school that contribute to its designation as a Green Ribbon School include: promotion of alternative transportation to school; water-efficient landscaping that requires no irrigation; low-flowing plumbing fixtures; LEED® for Silver Schools designation from the U.S. Green Building Council; and superb indoor air quality.
St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, Ohio
St. Ignatius High School has committed itself, in policy and practice, to a more environmentally responsible role as an educational institution. Over the last few years, the school has chosen to pursue construction projects which meet LEED® certification designations, move closer to a “zero waste” facility, update lighting and plumbing with high efficiency and low-flow regulators, and minimize the use of pest control, fertilizers and other contaminants. In addition, numerous departments and student clubs have done their part to “green” the campus. Most importantly, the largest and most successful efforts that have been undertaken have been by the initiation and effort of the students. Additional programs in the school that contribute to their designation as a Green Ribbon School include: food service changes, including Green Solutions products and an increase in recyclable materials for dining; utilization of local organic produce; ongoing work of the Green Team, a student-driven organization that spearheads the work in a community garden, where fresh vegetables are donated to local charity; and composting initiatives also incorporated in the gardening program through an additional group of the Green Team – the Ploughmen.