Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Green School and Watershed Hero Award Winners!

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Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Green School Award Winner — Buena High School! Pictured Left to Right, Back Row: Michael Yorke (Buena Principal), Lauren Zaragoza, Amanda Richards, Sally Ellberg, Bobbi Powers, Lynn Harrison (Harrison Industries), Frank Davis. Front Row: Nan Drake (Harrison Industries) and Margot Diehl. Buena won for their myriad of innovative recycling, composting and water wise gardening programs.

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Meet the 2015 -2016 Watershed Hero Award WinnerMound Elementary School.  Congratulations! Pictured LtoR: Brian Hubert (Science Coach), Steve Rowley (5th Grade Teacher), Todd Tyner (Principal), Tracie Fickenscher (VUSD Technology Specialist), Ed Summers (Community Partner). Mound Elementary converted 1,600 square feet of turf into a native plant garden and built an aquaponics greenhouse. They also recycle milk cartons and compost food waste through the pilot lunch-waste recycling program!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25, 2016

On Monday, April 25, 2016, Buena High School was presented with the 2016 Green School Award and Mound Elementary School was honored with the 2015-2016 Watershed Hero Award. The two schools received handsome recycled glass awards commemorating their achievements by City of Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko before the City Council Meeting.

The announcement coincides with celebration of Earth Day, April 22, and representatives from the presenters of the award from the City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability, Ventura Water, EJ Harrison, and Agromin were present for the honors.

Buena High School won the Green School Award for their innovative recycling, composting and water wise gardening programs. At the school, students collect recyclables with a specially designed handmade cart from classrooms on a weekly basis. This year alone, these efforts have diverted nearly 500 pounds of material from ending up in the landfill. The students created an educational video documenting their process.

”The partnership that has grown and evolved between the City, Agromin, EJ Harrision and Ventura Unified School District is especially important because, not only are we instilling a socio-economic and environmental ethic in students they can carry with them wherever they go from here, but we are also assisting the City meet new organics diversion requirements,” said Jill Santos, City of Ventura Environmental Specialist who supervises outreach for the City’s Green School programs.

At the school, students collect recyclables with a specially designed handmade cart from classrooms on a weekly basis. This year alone, these efforts have diverted nearly 500 pounds of material from ending up in the landfill. The students created an educational video documenting their process. Other “project-based-learning” efforts include a school garden constructed by the students from the school’s metal shop, carpentry, art, and science class. In the garden, students also installed drip irrigation, and are propagating seedlings in the compost made from cafeteria leftovers they’ve collected from the salad bar.

Mound Elementary School won the Watershed Hero Award for their water wise contributions to the community, and their involvement in water wise student education. Some of the programs included the removal of 1,600 square feet of turf, which was converted into a native plant garden, the building and installation of an aquaponics greenhouse to grow fresh produce (which actually uses less water than traditional gardening methods), and the installation of six rain barrels to capture rainwater for reuse in the school’s extensive gardens.

To further student’s education about water wise practices, the school also participates in a partnership with several local growers who teach them about the rich agricultural history of the region, the complexities of water supply and demand and organic farming practices. Additionally, Mound participates in the City’s pilot lunch-waste recycling program, which includes recycling milk cartons, redirecting food waste for composting at Agromin’s facility and diverting nearly 70% of the waste from going to the landfill.

”The partnership that has grown and evolved between the City, Agromin, EJ Harrision and Ventura Unified School District is especially important because, not only are we instilling a socio-economic and environmental ethic in students they can carry with them wherever they go from here, but we are also assisting the City in meeting new organics diversion requirements,” said Jill Santos, City of Ventura Environmental Specialist who supervises outreach for the City’s Green School programs.

To find out more about the Green School Awards, and how your school can participate in FREE Green School Programs, visit: http://cityofventura.net/greenschool

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-Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV

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