This year, two schools within the Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) have been certified with the Ontario EcoSchools program, joining a growing movement of over 1,900 schools across the province.
MacPhail Memorial Elementary School in Flesherton has achieved Gold level certification, while Bruce Peninsula District School in Lion’s Head has reached Platinum level.
This was Macphail’s third year participating in the program with eco exploration including recycled art creations, the “Lady from Grey” community and school garden, seed saving, a new composting system built for the garden and school’s breakfast program, energy conservation initiatives by junior and senior classes, vermicomposters in four classrooms, and a strong commitment to recycling correctly, as demonstrated by the school’s recycling audits.
Bruce Peninsula District School participated in a school wide United Nations Climate Change pilot project during the year and has developed a website, www.bpdslivessimply.org[https://www.bpdslivessimply.org], which was followed by staff, students, and community members.
Ontario EcoSchools works with 58 school boards and certification certification is based on a provincial standard of excellence and reaches 1,000,000 students across Ontario.
BWDSB has been a proud part of this vibrant network for a number of years which sees schools engaging students in efforts such as reducing waste and energy use along with “greening” their school yards, while building teamwork and leadership skills. A key feature of the program is school wide engagement in environmental stewardship, which includes the entire student body and staff in all employee groups.
“We extend our congratulations to our teachers and support staff who spearheaded the Ontario EcoSchools program this year, and their students for seeing it through. This is a wonderful compliment to the variety of environmental initiatives that happen each year in our schools. The curricular connections and focus on school facilities help to engage students; both in class and during the free time they spend in our buildings and on the playground,” said Superintendent of Education Paul Hambleton.
“Ontario EcoSchools certification provides a framework for environmental learning and action, and school communities bring it to life. The program allows schools and school boards to benchmark their progress and celebrate achievements year-over-year. We are so proud of the over 1,900 schools and 58 school boards that participated in the program in 2017-18. This is a record number over our 13-year history,” said Ontario EcoSchools Executive Director Lindsay Bunce.
Ontario EcoSchools is an award-winning environmental education and certification program for Grades K-12 that nurtures environmental leaders, reduces the ecological impact of schools, and builds environmentally responsible school communities. All publicly funded schools can access the program free of charge.
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