On April 30, the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) announced Green Acres School’s certification as a 2015 Maryland Green School. The award is the culmination of two years of demonstrating and documenting a continuous effort to integrate sustainable environmental management practices, environmental education curriculum, professional development opportunities, and community engagement into the School’s daily operations.
“Green Acres School has a long history of environmental education and stewardship,” says Neal Brown, Head of School. “This recognition from MAEOE signifies the school-wide commitment—led by our ‘Team Greener’ staff group—to inspire, implement, and document how Green Acres develops stewards of the earth and reduces the environmental impact of our school.”
The Team Greener staff group, which consisted of 10 Green Acres staff members, built on the work of the School’s “green” initiatives by involving students in the process of finding new ways to learn about and to track their impact on the environment. Activities included tracking daily habits during a “Green Challenge,” donating bicycles to a local organization, eliminating use of electronics during “Earth Hour,” celebrating Earth Day with school-wide campus projects, launching awareness campaigns for saving water and electricity, planting native gardens, increasing recycling efforts, maintaining a compost pile, and using the School’s outdoor classroom.
Team Greener Coordinator Liz Bullock says, “As a staff, we are constantly seeking opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning. When completing the MAEOE Green School application, it was exciting to see students go above and beyond in creating activities that promoted sustainability on campus and beyond.”