Recognizing the importance of educating Ventura’s youth to establish lifelong sustainable habits and practices, the City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability Division and Ventura Water offers free educational presentations to all local K-12 schools, after-school, and pre-school programs.
“Our green school program has been running for about 25 years,” said City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Brandon Kaysen. “It used to be a voluntary program, and in 2010, the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD), adopted it into the school curriculum.”
Environmental Programs K – 5th Grade
For students in kindergarten through 5th grade, the City provides programs incorporating activities and lesson plans specifically designed to get students engaged in recycling, the care of natural spaces, wastewater and pollution prevention. There are also lesson plans that focus on endangered species and climate science.
Environmental Programs 6th – 12th Grade
For students grade 6th through 12th, the City offers career talks, project support, internships, technical audits (where students monitor school energy, water and waste practices), and community service hours.
“The City also has a Food Waste Diversion program, which helps keep food waste out of the landfill,” said Kaysen. “We guide students on how to dispose of and recycle various waste from their lunch (i.e. cartons, uneaten food, etc.), and we also supply school custodial staff with recycling bins, trash cans, and sustainable practice signage.”
Ventura Water’s Programs = Water Environmental Education
“Ventura Water offers programs that are specific to water such as water conservation and quality, our watershed and the water cycle, water recycling, and water technologies,” continued Kaysen.
To get students out of the classroom, field trips are offered to the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility where students learn about bird identification, water quality testing, and water infrastructure.
“We’re very excited to be working with the school district to develop lesson plans to meet new science standards,” said Kaysen. “What’s great about this program is that it’s all-inclusive; meaning once the school contacts either myself or Haili Matsukawa with Ventura Water, we bring all the materials to provide students with an exciting experience.”
To find out more about the Environmental Programs offered by the City and to schedule a program in your school, contact:
City of Ventura Environmental Specialist
For more information on Green School Programs and the annual Green School and Watershed Hero Awards, Visit: Cityofventura.net/greenschool