Douglas County school earns top award in NWF’s Eco-Schools program
The National Wildlife Federation has awarded Sand Creek Elementary School in Highlands Ranch the highest honor in the Eco-Schools USA program, which recognizes exceptional achievement in conserving natural resources and integrating environmental education into the curriculum.
Students, teachers and staff watched Friday as the Eco-Schools Green Flag was raised on the school grounds. Sand Creek is the sixth school in Colorado to earn a Green Flag and among only 44 nationwide. Colorado has 61 registered Eco-Schools out of 3,233 nationwide. The Douglas County School District, which has earned all the Green Flags in Colorado, said sustainability is very important to the district in both its operations and educational curriculum.
"The National Wildlife Federation congratulates Sand Creek on its impressive achievements in making its campus and neighborhood a more sustainable and wildlife-friendly place. It seems fitting to present this honor on May Day, when we celebrate spring and the renewal of nature," said David Ellenberger, NWF’s regional outreach campaigns manager.
To earn the award, Sand Creek students and staff prepared eco-action plans and undertook such projects as recycling and composting. Students put together presentations on sustainability, worked with community organizations on activities and shared information on school websites and social media, in newsletters, an all-school assembly and with parents.
"Our school and staff have worked hard and learned so much through the program. We’re proud of everyone who’s been involved and honored to join other schools across the country that are integrating classroom study of science and the environment with on-the-ground experiences," said Tara Montague, a fifth-grade teacher at Sand Creek.
NWF is organizing teacher professional development workshops to promote the Eco-Schools program with schools across the Denver metro area. For three years, Xcel Energy has supported professional development programs for teachers to promote and encourage Douglas County School District staff to register for Eco-Schools.
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