We are pleased to announce that Oak Park USD has been awarded the Green Schools Leadership Award by Green Schools California. OPUSD was selected as the District Award winner for the entire state of California. Here is some information about the award:
School District Award: Oak Park Unified School District The Oak Park Unified School District is recognized for its ongoing efforts to serve as a community leader in the areas of environmental awareness and sensitivity. In addition to incorporating environmental education into its instructional program, the District is working to serve as an example for its students and community by greening its campuses.
The Green California Schools and Community Colleges Summits, being held concurrently at the Pasadena Convention Center October 17-18, have announced their 2011 Leadership Award Recipients. The awards will be presented at a Summit reception on October 17.
The summits comprise the nation’s most significant K-14 event focused on building, running and teaching in high performance classrooms and campuses. Featured speakers on October 16 include Carl Pope, Chairman of the Sierra Club and Co-Founder of the Blue Green Alliance; and Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Leadership Awards honor outstanding accomplishments in sustainability. The awards ceremony will also include a special award by student ambassadors from the Green Youth Movement to Senator Fran Pavley, author of legislation that led to the creation of the new statewide Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI). California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matt Rodriguez will also participate.
We would like to recognize and thank the following in association with our selection for this award:
Keyla Treitman, parent and chair of the OPUSD Environmental Education and Awareness Committee and the entire committee membership who are working to constantly improve our recycling and waste diversion efforts and bring quality environmental education to all of the schools.
Julie Suarez, Director of Business Operations, who has worked hard to find and implement many of the District’s environmental best practices including the use of organic fertilizers for our grounds and turf, green and safe cleaning products, our natural and sustainable food service program, and many more.
The District was recognized partly because of the environmental innovations that have been incorporated into our modernization projects under Measure R, including new energy saving cool roofs, and infiltration bioswales in our new parking lots that absorb and clean storm run-off and filter it back into the watershed. We recognize and thank Balfour Beatty Construction Managers for providing the know-how on these projects.
We thank our Science Specialist, Debby West, funded by Friends of Oak Park Schools, who focuses much effort in energy and environmentally focused science education at all levels.
We recognize our Board of Education for developing some of the most stringent environmental policies of any school district in terms of education, waste reduction, energy conservation, and buy-recycled procurement.
Finally, and most importantly, a huge thanks to all of the students, parents, teachers, principals, and staff members who continue to find new ways to help our planet and reduce our impact and go the extra mile to recycle that piece of paper, bring a no-trash lunch, or use our hydration stations instead of bringing a plastic disposable water bottle among many other daily practices that have become second nature in Oak Park.