The honor, announced this week on Earth Day (April 22) by the U.S. Department of Education, is for the school’s efforts to improve the health and wellness of its students and staff, reduce environmental impacts, and provide environmental and sustainability education. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices that are proven to result in improved student engagement, higher academic achievement and graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government wide goal of increasing energy independence and economic security.
Some of the activities which earned WHS the honor include: collection of 2,000+ pounds of recycled material each week, use of paper towels that are EPA-certified 85-percent post-consumer waste, participation in the City of Eugene’s Love Food Not Waste commercial compost program, an annual community Recycle Round-Up, use of raised garden beds and hydroponic garden systems that serve as skills training for students, a student-led recycling effort incorporated into instructional program, and much more.
The City of Eugene partners with Bethel School District to integrate investments in buildings, curricula, educational programming, and on-going facility operations. For more information, contact Waste Prevention and Green Building Analyst Stephanie Scafa, 541-682-5652