PALM BEACH COUNTY GREEN SCHOOLS RECOGNITION PROGRAM
by Kathy Panko
The Environmental Issues Group of the LWVPBC is proud to support The Green Schools Recognition Program (GSRP), a program conducted by Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, in collaboration with the school districts of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. The GSRP encourages both public and private schools to develop a culture focused on environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The program recognizes K-12 schools that use ongoing “green” programs, projects and practices to instill a culture of environmental sustainability in classrooms, on school grounds, and throughout the school communities. Each year, the program provides recognition, incentives and special awards to acknowledge exceptional green efforts. The GSRP was established in 2008 and last year recognized over 125 schools.
The program selects schools that have made strides in:
- School grounds enhancement
- Improving school sustainability through the conservation of energy, water, solid waste reduction & transportation
- Fostering health and wellness through initiatives focused on gardening, nutrition, and physical fitness
- Integrating curriculum that will prepare students for the environmental challenges facing South Florida
- Involvement with the community fostering partnerships within the school and local organizations
- Development of a school-wide green culture
To earn recognition, schools must submit a written application that documents their efforts. Each year, FAU invites members of the community to serve on a panel of Green Schools Judges to evaluate the applications. Judges are asked to review 2-3 applications and score them according to established criteria. For a full explanation of the application and judging process, volunteers are asked to attend a free 3-hour workshop. Attendance is required for first-time judges and encouraged for returning judges.
The EIG is proud to report that three of its members are participating as judges this year. The support of judges makes this program possible – as they are essential members of the team.
For more information, visit www.pinejog.fau.edu/ourgreenshools.