The results are in: Linwood Public School is a greener, more energy conscious place.
The school applied for EcoSchools certification in May and last week, at a ceremony at the CIGI (Centre for International Governance Innovation) in Waterloo, received its gold certification.
“It was definitely ambitious but it proved to enhance our already existing environmental initiatives at Linwood,” said teacher Ed Piva of the school’s effort to fulfill at least 75 per cent of the EcoSchools certification criteria.
Piva and fellow teacher Kathy Puskas guided students as they contributed to greening projects on the school grounds and took on several other projects throughout the year.
“The staff and students are thrilled that all of their hard work has brought such positive results. We are a gold certified EcoSchool, and this recognition really means a lot to all of us!”
To become certified by Ontario EcoSchools, a school must demonstrate achievement in a number of areas, including teamwork and leadership, energy conservation, waste minimization, school ground greening, curriculum (environmental education) and environmental stewardship and school community. Obtaining gold certification means that Linwood PS achieved 75 per cent or higher in all of their respective categories.
Only five schools were certified in 2007, 14 in 2008 and 41 in 2009 demonstrating the growing awareness of environmental initiatives in many schools throughout the Waterloo Region.
Piva sees this as a sign that the message of environmental responsibility is spreading.
“The kids have hopped on that bandwagon of the environment; they understand the importance of doing the right thing, and it’s nice to be recognized for that,” he said, noting that his students are in the habit of dimming or turning off the lights in his classroom even when certain projects require better lighting.
“It’s very rewarding to see the kids responding to it in the way that they have.”