And the Winner is…2013 Green School Awards Announced

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Each year the Green School Award Program, sponsored by the City of Ventura’s Environmental Sustainability Division in partnership with Agromin Premium Soil Products, recognizes a school that demonstrates exemplary efforts to help the environment.

This year, on November 18, 2013, in recognition of America Recycles Day, Mayor Mike Tracy presented the award to two deserving schools at a special ceremony before the Ventura City Council.

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The winner of the 2013 Green School Award went to EP Foster Elementary School and Will Rogers Elementary School received the new Watershed Hero Award presented by Ventura Water.

EP Foster Elementary School spearheaded efforts for the first full-scale recycling and food waste diversion program within the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD), reducing the amount of trash bags thrown away daily from 44 to just 7.  The program, conducted by the EP Foster custodian, cafeteria manager, students and faculty, have set an example which all other schools in the District will eventually follow.

VIEW the Sustainable Ventura News Segment about EP Foster’s Recycling and Food Waste Diversion Program

Ventura Water’s General Manager, Shana Epstein, presented Will Rogers Elementary School with their Watershed Hero Award for creating wildlife habitats on their campus and reducing stormwater flows with the installation of a new bioswale.  To create the bioswale structure, part of the Ventura Midtown Community Council’s “Adopt-a-School Project” for 2013, students, staff and community members removed 500 square feet of asphalt and replaced it with a natural environment of rocks and native plants.  In another area of the school, one entire irrigation zone was capped with the turf removed to create a schoolyard habitat where teachers lead lessons in math, science and reading.

“Using our water resources wisely, including stormwater, is vital to the sustainability of our community,” said Epstein.  “Will Rogers Elementary School leads by example with the establishment of native habitats and their new bioswale.  These gardens and structures foster Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Garden principles of CPR (Conservation, Permeability and Retention), a message that is also an integral part of Ventura Water’s mission in continuing to keep our environment  clean and beautiful.”

VIEW the Sustainable Ventura News Segment about Will Roger’s New Bioswale

“There are so many schools that have got on board with programs that reduce waste, increase recycling and reuse materials,” said City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Jill Sarick.  “There are even schools that are composting in their gardens.  It’s important to be aware of our collective footprint on this earth, and to make a difference individually.  With this award, it is our intent to celebrate a Green School Award winner who sets an example for other schools to follow.”

Agromin Premium Soil Products, (the company that processes the residential and commercial green waste from the City of Ventura into compost to replenish our local soil) and E.J. Harrison & Sons provided a cash award to the Green School Award winner EP Foster Elementary School. Ventura Water provided a cash award to the Watershed Hero Award winner Will Rogers Elementary school.

Check out previous WINNERS at:  CityofVentura.net/GreenSchool

For more information on this annual award, call Jill Sarick at (805) 652-4584 or email jsarick@cityofventura.net

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Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV

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