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King County Green Schools Program recognizes 40 schools for resource conservation

Summary

Forty schools earned recognition as King County Green Schools for their 2019-20 environmental efforts, even while navigating COVID-19 closures in the spring. The King County Green Schools Program helps schools and school districts engage students and employees in learning about and practicing resource conservation. To date, 320 K-12 schools across King County have benefited from the program.

Story

Forty schools from 36 cities and unincorporated areas earned recognition for reducing waste, increasing recycling, conserving energy and water, and cutting costs with help from the King County Green Schools Program. The program provides hands-on help and the tools schools need such as educational signs and indoor recycling bins. Guidance from the program assists students, teachers, and other school employees to expand their environmental understanding and practices.

“By providing this hands-on program, King County is laying the foundation for a lifetime of resource conservation by students and their families as well as by school and district employees,” said Solid Waste Division Director Pat D. McLaughlin.

Despite COVID-19 school closures this spring, teachers and other Green Team leaders guided by the program continued to provide students with opportunities to learn about the environment and to take action to conserve natural resources and protect our environment.

“The schools we’re recognizing have initiated or improved sustainable practices such as recycling and energy conservation which reduce costs as well as carbon emissions that contribute to climate change,” said Dale Alekel, Green Schools Program manager.

Student Green Teams monitored classroom energy, encouraged reusable water bottle use, and promoted walking and biking to school. Students tested water quality in streams, mentored teams in other schools, and helped create rain gardens and pollinator gardens on their campuses. Schools taught students about food systems and why food is a valuable resource, and set up food donation programs to reduce food waste.

The program has grown from three schools in 2002 to 320 schools as of this spring, with 65 percent of the K-12 schools outside the City of Seattle participating. More than 196,000 students in those 320 schools have had opportunities to learn about conservation and engage in conservation practices through the program. In addition, 14 school districts have received assistance from the program.

The program also emphasizes the importance of making sure recyclable materials are empty, clean, and dry to reduce contamination in recycling bins and protect the quality of the collected recyclable materials for manufacturers. Students in turn bring these lessons home.

In addition to Green Schools Program assistance and recognition, King County offers educational programs including an elementary school assembly program and classroom workshops for grades 1–12 that teach students about conservation.

Learn more by contacting Alekel at 206-477-5267 or dale.alekel@kingcounty.gov.

Sustaining Green Schools 2019-20

28 schools were recognized as Sustaining Green Schools for maintaining Level One, Two, and Three practices, and completing an additional conservation action or educational strategy.

Auburn School District

  • Lakeland Hills Elementary School

Enumclaw School District

  • Enumclaw Middle School

Highline School District

  • North Hill Elementary School
  • Shorewood Elementary School
  • Waskowitz Outdoor School

Issaquah School District

  • Apollo Elementary School
  • Cascade Ridge Elementary School
  • Creekside Elementary School
  • Pine Lake Middle School

Kent School District

  • Crestwood Elementary School

Lake Washington School District

  • Carl Sandburg Elementary / Discovery Community School
  • Environmental & Adventure School

Mercer Island School District

  • Island Park Elementary School
  • Islander Middle School
  • Lakeridge Elementary School
  • Northwood Elementary School
  • West Mercer Elementary School

Renton School District

  • Tiffany Park Elementary School

Riverview School District

  • Carnation Elementary School

Tahoma School District

  • Maple View Middle School
  • Rock Creek Elementary School
  • Shadow Lake Elementary School
  • Summit Trail Elementary School

Private schools

  • Bellevue Children’s Academy (Bellevue)
  • Chestnut Hill Academy (Bellevue)
  • French-American School of Puget Sound (Mercer Island)
  • St Bernadette Parish School (Burien)
  • The Evergreen School (Shoreline)

Level Three (water conservation and pollution prevention)

Two schools were recognized as King County Level Three Green Schools for maintaining Level One and Two practices, and engaging students and employees in water conservation and pollution prevention education and actions.

Highline School District

  • McMicken Heights Elementary School

Private school

  • Eastside Catholic School (Sammamish)

Level Two (energy conservation)

Four schools were recognized as King County Level Two Green Schools for maintaining their Level One waste reduction and recycling practices, and learning about and engaging in energy conservation actions.

Lake Washington School District

  • Ella Baker Elementary School
  • Emily Dickinson Elementary School

Riverview School District

  • Stillwater Elementary School

Private school

  • Bellevue Montessori School (Bellevue)

Level One (waste reduction and recycling)

Six schools were recognized as King County Level One Green Schools for initiating or improving waste reduction and recycling practices.

Enumclaw School District

  • Enumclaw High School

Lake Washington School District

  • Benjamin Rush Elementary School
  • Christa McAuliffe Elementary School
  • John James Audubon Elementary School
  • Northstar Middle School / Emerson High School / Emerson K-12

Snoqualmie Valley School District

  • Opstad Elementary School