February 9, 2011.

Earth Friendly DSBN Schools Honoured

They call themselves “Ecovoyageurs”, “The Green Team” and even “Eco Heroes”. While their names may all be different, what they have in common is that they take their roles as environmental stewards very seriously. These DSBN students and staff set an “Earth Friendly” example to inspire their communities to engage in environmentally sustainable practices.

At their regular Board meeting on February 8, 2011, trustees recognized schools that participated in two important DSBN environmental initiatives, “The Conservation Awards” sponsored by the Employee Energy Conservation Committee and the “Down to Earth Competition” winners, supported by the DSBN Environmental Sustainability committee.

Sponsored annually by the Employee Energy Conservation Committee, the 70 schools who participated reduced their electricity usage for a combined savings of over $246,000 in the past year. That represents a savings of 2,158,000 kilowatt hours which is enough energy to power two high schools or eleven elementary schools for one year.

Board and Committee members recognized the schools that were especially diligent in their quest to reduce their dependence on energy. Bertie Public School in Ridgeway and Laura Secord Secondary School in St. Catharines received awards for conserving the most energy over the past year. Sheridan Park Public School in St. Catharines and Stamford Collegiate Secondary School in Niagara Falls were both recognized as for showing the greatest yearly improvement in energy savings. Twenty-five percent of the cost of the energy saved by each school will be rebated back to them for educational programming.

The conservation program, now in its tenth year, was developed by students, school staff, CUPE Local 4156, the teacher federations and facilities staff personnel at the DSBN. The Energy Conservation Committee engages students by encouraging them to assess their classrooms in terms of energy use, and provide suggestions for improvement. The Committee also provides schools with an informational package with practical steps to improve school energy savings.

Members of the DSBN’s Environmental Sustainability Committee were on hand to recognize the winners of their annual “Down to Earth” contest. The contest, which spans from Earth Hour in March to Earth Day in April, challenges schools and administrative departments to find creative ways to implement environmentally sustainable practices into their day-to-day lives. The winners were: Forestview Public School, Niagara Falls, Quaker Road Public School, Welland, College Street Public School, Smithville, Lincoln Centennial Public School, St. Catharines, E.L. Crossley Secondary School, Fonthill, Beamsville Bridge Program, and DSBN Human Resources.

Visit our Facebook page to view the photo gallery of winners.