2016 Environmental Recognition Award Recipients 

City of Brantford Environmental Recognition Award Winners 2016

King George Public School: Young People, Elementary Age

The King George Public School is an elementary school with extraordinary initiative. The King George Green Team is made up of representatives from thirteen classes of students ranging from grade 1 through 8. The primary grade members meet monthly and the junior grade members meet twice a month. Together, the King George Green Team spearheads a number of eco-initiatives within the school environment that spread the messages of Energy Conservation, Waste Reduction, and ultimately creating and maintaining a healthy planet. The Team goes on “walkabouts”, rating classrooms on energy consumption and waste management, and helped with a school-wide waste audit. They engage the entire student body in eco-campaigns and initiatives like Sweater Days to conserve energy, promoting the increased use of reusable containers, recognizing Earth Hour, and actively recycling paper, plastic, metal, and glass as well as printer cartridges. One of the most outstanding initiatives of the King George Green Team is the collection of difficult-to-recycle packaging, such as used baggies and cookie/cracker wrappers. These materials are sold to TerraCylce, internationally recognized upcycling/recycling company TerraCycle which repurposes these materials into new products. Raising money while diverting waste from landfill – Congratulations to the students of King George Public School and the King George Green Team for their eco-leadership and modeling the future economy!

GELA – Grand Erie Learning Alternatives – Young People – Secondary Age and Green Non-profit

GELA aims to increase opportunities for student success in a flexible, alternative learning environment that offers a variety of credit courses, co-operative education, and digital learning platforms. The students and staff at GELA have accomplished a number of environmental initiatives, which resulted in them achieving a real first in Brantford’s Green Environmental Recognition: distinguished achievement in two categories!

Within the category of Young People – Secondary Age, the GELA cohort has focused on waste minimization, energy conservation, greening of the school grounds, and environmental education and stewardship campaigns. The students conducted waste audits to benchmark their own diversion rate, organized campaigns to teach people how to recycle, and engaged in consistent monitoring of the waste stream to determine their success of their waste minimization efforts. While ensuring that there own computers and lights were turned off when not in use, the students also tracked the efforts of other classes to similarly conserve energy. And to reduce energy consumption in the big picture, they organized an ugly sweater day as a fun way to engage the student body in turning down the thermostat, and reducing the energy footprint of the school.

Within the category of Green Non-Profit, the GELA students took the extraordinary step of engaging their community in the greening of the school grounds by establishing a monarch garden, planting fruit trees, and building three community gardening boxes. This project was realized through the awesome collaboration of 200 students, 15 staff members, and interested neighbours and members of the broader Brantford community. The positive involvement from the school and the surrounding neighbourhood continues to reverberate in the current 2015-16 school year. Congratulations to the students and staff of GELA in achieving the Ontario Eco-School Silver designation for their incredible eco-efforts and community engagement!