Gre8t to be green
Posted on 09/24/2021
Millenia Gardens students tending to garden

For the eighth consecutive year, the OCPS’ Environmental Compliance and Sustainability department hosted a Green Schools Recognition Program Awards Ceremony. In true COVID-fashion, the virtual event recognized 17 schools for their tireless dedication to conserving energy, recycling, upcycling, composting, community gardening, and other activities that promote sustainability on campus and at home.

“There are many great reasons for schools to participate in the OCPS Green Schools Recognition Program.  Ultimately, it is about encouraging our students to become conscious leaders and understand how they contribute and impact the environment,” Jennifer Fowler, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability director, said. “The OCPS mission says, ‘With the support of families and the community, we create enriching and diverse pathways to lead our students to success.’ This program provides yet another pillar to our mission.”

Student art using recycled materialsMaking a conscious effort to conserve energy and water, earned schools Incentive Awards. The district’s water goal is 11 gallons per square foot, and the energy goal is 13.1 kWh per square foot. 

For energy conservation, Tildenville and West Creek elementary schools earned $100 for meeting or exceeding the goals by up to 5%. Millenia Gardens received $300 for exceeding the goals from 6-10%. Blankner School, Colonial HS, and Dommerich, Engelwood, Palm Lake, Stone Lakes, Westpointe and Zellwood elementary schools each earned $500 for exceeding the goals by 11% or more.  

Arbor Ridge, Audubon Park and Blankner K8 schools, plus Dommerich, Engelwood, Millenia Gardens, Stone Lakes West Creek, Westpoint and Winegard elementary schools earned $500 for exceeding the water conservation goals by 11% or more.

People posing with a check and pics of recycled materialThe top three winners of the 2021 Green Schools Recognition Program:

First place, $5,000 - Millenia Gardens Elementary School

Second place, $3,000 - Stone Lakes Elementary School

Third place, $1,000 - Westpointe Elementary School

Judges Choice Awards granted winning schools $750. The seven winners are:

Schoolwide Culture, courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort - Blankner School

Health and Well-being, courtesy of Lightyear Technologies - Dommerich ES

Innovation, courtesy of OUC - Millenia Gardens

Innovation, courtesy of Waste Management - Audubon Park K-8

Curriculum Integration, courtesy of City of Orlando - Dommerich ES

School Grounds Enhancement, courtesy of Keep Orlando Beautiful - Dommerich ES

Community Involvement, courtesy of Charity Recycling Service - Killarney ES

School Sustainability, courtesy of 4Rivers/4Roots Foundation - Winegard ES

In addition to the Energy and Water Conservation Awards, the Judges Choice Awards and the Top 3 School Awards, the Green Schools Recognition Program has three levels of sustainability a school can achieve: School of Promise, Schools of Quality and a School of Excellence. 

Schools of Promise obtained a score up to 45 points. These schools demonstrate an established sustainability foundation and continue to take steps to improve sustainability.  They are: Colonial HS, Magnolia School, and Engelwood, Killarney and West Creek elementary schools.

A School of Quality earned 46 - 97 points. These schools take active strides in improving and maintaining sustainable practices. There are visible signs of campus sustainability efforts. They are: Audubon Park K-8, Dommerich, Palm Lake, Tildenville, Winegard, Wyndham Lakes and Zellwood elementary schools.

School of Excellence earned 98+ points. This award level shows the highest commitment to sustainability; these schools have implemented proactive strategies to make it to this level. They are: Arbor Ridge K-8, Blankner School, and Millenia Gardens, Stone Lakes and Westpointe elementary schools.