An Education Milestone Worth Celebrating!

What does it take for 10,000 K-12 schools to integrate sustainability principles into their school day? The dedication and efforts of educators and students across the country, working together alongside community members to green their schools, both inside and out.

Schools like those in Texas who are part of our Monarch Heroes Program, and the 6,288 schools who have created and certified a Schoolyard Habitat® with the National Wildlife Federation are prime examples of such collaboration. Across the country, teachers are making a huge impact by educating the next generation of environmental stewards. On a daily basis, a growing number of students and teachers are composting garbage and recycling paper, promoting healthy living with more physical activity, and planting native plants and trees to turn their outdoor space into a learning laboratory.

Schools such as Eastside Memorial High School in Texas show that by collaborating with community partners, it’s a win-win for everyone. The school worked hard to overcome many obstacles, and they recently were awarded a Green Flag, the first high school in Texas to earn this award.

Photo from Austin ISD
Photo from Austin ISD

In addition, Eastside is also the first in the Austin Independent School District (AISD) to introduce a composting program. Since becoming an Eco-School and focusing on the Energy, Consumption and Waste and Schoolyard Habitats Pathways, the school has seen significant reductions in electricity use, along with the amount of trash produced within the school, working their way towards zero waste. Their recent community-wide celebration ceremony says it all – almost 100 attendees, including members of the school band, local leaders and the nearby community.

Other schools, like Eisenhower High School, a Kansas Green School, a certified Schoolyard Habitat, and the only Green Flag Eco-School in Kansas, have been working hard since 2011 to create environmentally literate citizens. Under the direction of presidential award winning teacher Denise Scribner, they have taken barren school grounds and transformed them into an Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site. Not only do the students benefit from a hands-on outside learning environment, but the local community now has access to a QR Nature Trail built by the students using recycled materials.

We are proud to have reached this significant milestone, and will continue on our journey towards the next 10,000.

Learn MoreLearn more about the National Wildlife Federation programs that connect kids with nature.