Long Meadow Elementary students pose for a photo following recycling efforts completed as part of the Michigan Green Schools program. Long Meadow was named an Emerald school for completing 20 green activities.

Long Meadow Elementary students pose for a photo following recycling efforts completed as part of the Michigan Green Schools program. Long Meadow was named an Emerald school for completing 20 green activities.

Photo provided by Rochester Community Schools


RCS, Avondale schools recognized for green efforts

By: Mary Beth Almond, Sarah Wojcik | Rochester Post | Published May 22, 2019

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ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Almost two dozen schools in the Rochester Community Schools district have gone Green, Emerald or Evergreen, according to their new Michigan Green Schools program designations.

The Michigan Green Schools program, now in its 11th year, challenges all public and private schools in the state to achieve environmental goals — such as protecting the air, land, water and animals — through good ecological practices and the teaching of educational stewardship of students in pre-kindergarten through high school.

In Oakland County, 138 schools achieved Green, Emerald or Evergreen status for their students’ efforts to increase environmental stewardship this school year. Of those, 27 earned Green status, 31 earned Emerald status and 80 earned Evergreen status.

The official qualifications involve four categories: reduce, reuse, recycle; energy; environmental protection; and miscellaneous.

Green schools must conduct 10 activities, with at least two from each of the four categories; Emerald schools must complete 15 activities, with at least two from each of the four categories; and Evergreen schools must do 20 activities, with at least two activities from each of the four categories.

In the Rochester Post’s coverage area, 21 schools were recognized.

Evergreen schools included Baldwin, Brooklands, Delta Kelly, Hugger, Long Meadow, McGregor, Meadow Brook, Musson, North Hill and University Hills elementary schools; Hart, Van Hoosen and West middle schools; and Rochester Adams, Rochester and Stoney Creek high schools. ACE High School, Reuther Middle School, and Brewster and Hampton elementary schools were Emerald schools; and Hamlin Elementary was designated as a Green school.

RCS Community Relations Director Lori Grein said the district is proud of all 21 Rochester Community Schools for their participation in the Green Schools program during the 2018-19 school year.

“Special thanks goes out to our Rochester Community PTA members for their partnership in applying for Green school status and ensuring successful environmental initiatives throughout the year,” she said in a statement.

In the Avondale School District, Auburn, Deerfield and Woodland elementary schools earned Emerald status.

Several hundred Oakland County students, teachers, parents and staff from participating Michigan Green Schools program schools gathered for the 11th annual Michigan Green Schools awards ceremony April 23 at the Detroit Zoo.

“Together, all of you have participated in more than 2,300 recycling, energy-saving and other environmental activities. That’s tremendous,” said Michael Yocum, the assistant superintendent of educational services for Oakland Schools.    

Whitney Calio, the principal planner for Oakland County, said she was thrilled to see so many young faces gathered at the zoo.

“That was our hope as we brought the ceremony to the zoo, that we would get more students engaged and (it would be) kind of a reward for all of those green efforts that you have been doing this year,” she said. “Each year, we receive so many great applications for the Green Schools program, and we have the difficult task of selecting one school from each of the three categories that we feel did a little bit more and stood out from the other applications.”

Adams High School, in the Rochester Community Schools district, won in the Evergreen category; Woodland Elementary School, of the Avondale School District, won in the Emerald category; and Kingsbury Country Day School, in Oxford, won in the Green category.

Some of the activities that schools engaged in during the 2018-19 school year included observing lights-off Fridays, creating family carpools, going on nature hikes, participating in pond dipping and maple tree tapping, creating bird feeders, engaging in recycling programs, creating water bottle refilling stations, and making community gardens.

For a complete list of the Oakland County schools that were recognized, visit www.oakland.k12.mi.us/michgreenschools.

For more information about Michigan Green Schools, visit www.michigangreenschools.us.

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