The Santa Cruz City Schools Green Schools Committee presented their annual report to the Board of Trustees this week. Founded in 2007-08, the Green
Schools Committee develops and recommends to the Board of Trustees policies to lighten the District’s environmental footprint and integrate environmental education and student participation into school-wide environmental initiatives, including using partnerships with environmental education providers.
In addition to outlining their initiatives, Stacey Falls and Helene Ballaban, teacher representatives on the committee, pointed out that the savings the district has realized through its green policies. Overall, the District saved $154k from 2008-09 to 2009-10, representing an almost 12% reduction in utilities. Solar panels have generated $90k to $100k worth of electricity.
The Green Schools committee initiatives in place include:
- Solar projects in our schools
- Green purchasing policies
- Climate Action Compact Agreement with the City of Santa Cruz and UCSC
- Boltage project encouraging students to ride and walk to school
- Watershed curriculum for district 5th graders
- Work in process for Green Business Certification for all school sites
Students from Gault Elementary School shared their award-winning presentation on the Boltage project. Boltage is a joint project between Gault Elementary School and Ecology Action that encourages students to ride and walk to schools. The students first presented their project at the Earth Day Class Project Challenge where they were awarded First Place for their analysis of calories burned, carbon emissions saved and other benefits of the program. Their project will be on exhibit at the Museum of Natural History beginning May 2.
The Board of Trustees adopted a resolution acknowledging the work of the Green Schools Committee and made a commitment to seek a Green Business Certification for all school sites in the district.