Surfside ES Receives GRS Award
Surfside ES Receives Green Ribbon Schools Award

2017 US Dept of ED Green Ribbon Schools Ceremony

I had the privilege of attending the 2017 US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Ceremony in Washington, DC this past week. At the event, 45 schools and 9 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education. In addition, 9 colleges and universities were honored with the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. 

Surfside Elementary in Satellite Beach, FL was among 9 Project Learning Tree GreenSchools that were honored.  Over the past 5 years, Surfside has reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 45% and 15% of their waste is diverted from landfill/incineration through recycling efforts. Students feed vegetable scraps daily to chicken, ducks, geese and turkey, and manure for the poultry run is used to fertilize fruit trees.

Erika Maier, a Gifted Surfside teacher, and her two children, Kameron (11) and Indigo (13) (pictured above) are driving forces behind the school’s environmental accomplishments. Kameron and Indigo were both named volunteers of the year and have been instrumental with the school’s garden, incubating and recycling projects. According to Maier, “The kids were so excited to see baby ducks in the reflecting pools around the Capitol they couldn’t wait to get home and start incubating again!”

Discover how PLT’s GreenSchools Investigations connect with ED-GRS’s three Pillars that the U.S. Department of Education uses to define a green school.

By James Riley McGirt

Manager of Project Learning Tree GreenSchools Program &

Co-Moderator of NAAEE eePro Green Schools