DCSD wins first ever Green Ribbon District Sustainability Award
Information provided by Douglas County School District
The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan honored Douglas County School District (DCSD) with the first ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Award.
“DCSD has long been a model of excellence in the area of sustainability,” said Lee Smit, DCSD sustainability manager. “This is an incredible honor for our students, our staff, and our district leaders.”
According to Smit, sustainability efforts have saved DCSD more than $15 million in the last six years. “We could only achieve this level of success with students, staff, and administrators working together.”
Smit credits DCSD students for leading the charge on education efforts and intelligent management of resources. “More than 7,000 students are running sustainability projects in their schools. They have developed school-specific marketing and education campaigns, challenged their peers and their staff, and worked hard to save money that can be directed back to the classroom.”
“Each department in our district has an impact on what we achieve,” continued Smit. “In DCSD, all of our departments are focusing on how we can improve and this award reflects on their efforts. ”
DCSD was nominated for the Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Award by the Colorado Department of Education. The award acknowledges DCSD’s achievements in taking a comprehensive approach to sustainability. The areas encompassed by the award include reduced environmental impact and costs, improved health and wellness, and effective environmental and sustainability education.
Out of 15,000 school districts nationwide, only 14 were selected for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics, STEM and green career pathways.
“Today’s honorees are modeling a comprehensive approach to being green,” said Secretary Duncan. “They are demonstrating ways schools can simultaneously cut costs; improve health, performance and equity; and provide an education geared toward the jobs of the future. In fact, the selected districts are saving millions of dollars as a result of their greening efforts.”
“Preparing students for success in the 21st century economy begins in our schools. The schools and districts being honored today are modeling the best practices in reducing environmental impact and cutting costs, creating a healthier learning environment, and providing students with an education geared toward the jobs of the future,” said Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley.