Three Allegan County Schools Receive Michigan Green School Award

Three schools located in Allegan County recently became proud recipients of the Michigan Green Schools award thanks to the dedication of students and staff.

Bentheim Elementary School (Hamilton), Douglas Elementary School, and Allegan High School received the awards due to their commitment to environmental education in the classroom.  Each school committed to performing a minimum of 10 conservation themed activities during the school year aimed at teaching conservation related topics.  Students and staff choose activities chosen from four categories including:  Recycling; Energy; Environmental Protection; and a Miscellaneous category.  Schools then report the activities they perform back to their local Michigan Green Schools (MGS) County Coordinator who approves the activities and recommends the schools to receive an award to the State MGS Coordinator.

Activities completed by the schools included implementing a school-wide recycling program for paper, plastic, metal, cardboard, and glass; composting food and organic wastes; implementing a school energy-savings program; teaching a unit on alternative energy; participating in a beach clean-up; raising salmon in the classroom to be released back into local streams; creating a native plant garden; studying the economic impact our local fisheries have on the economy; learning about invasive species such as zebra mussels and Asian carp; learning about the effects of human on the land and water; “adopting” the Karner blue butterfly, a federally endangered butterfly found in Allegan County and only a handful of other locations in Michigan and Wisconsin; and much more.

“The Michigan Green Schools program offers students a unique chance to not only learn about conservation related issues, but to actively be a part of the solution to these problems in their community,” said Justin Burchett, Allegan County MGS Coordinator.  “It is a great program for helping to develop future community leaders.”

The three participating schools were each awarded a Michigan Green School flag and emblem, as well as a Certificate of Achievement signed by Governor Rick Snyder.

Schools in Allegan County that are interested in participating in the 2015-16 school year can contact Justin Burchett, Program Manager at the Allegan Conservation District, by emailing justin.burchett@macd.org or calling (269) 673-6940, ext. 101.  Schools outside of Allegan County can visit www.michigangreenschools.us to find out how to contact their County Coordinator.

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