Newaygo County Schools Participate in Michigan Green Schools
By Katie Clark, Newaygo County Environmental Coalition
Newaygo County Environmental Coalition (NCEC) is proud to coordinate Michigan Green Schools for Newaygo County. On January 18th, NCEC Board member, Katie Clark, presented Scott Sherman, principal of Fremont High School (FHS), and Julie Anderson, FHS MI Green School Coordinator and orchestra teacher, the school’s Michigan Green Schools Emerald Award and flag to display.
“I saw that the coordinator position was open last year, and I like to do my part to be environmentally responsible. Plus, as the orchestra teacher, this position allows me to work with more of our student population. I’m hoping to continue to grow the program,” stated Ms. Anderson.
Michigan Green Schools encourages and recognizes schools that focus on environmental stewardship. A school is eligible to receive a Green, Emerald, or Evergreen School Environmental Designation if the school or students acquired a certain number of points within four categories: recycling, energy, environmental protection, and miscellaneous activities of their choice.
Fremont Public Schools are all active in the MI Green Schools Program, and all earned an Award this year:
Michigan Green Schools is now coordinated by EGLE (Michigan’s Environment, Great Lakes & Energy), and is “…dedicated to assisting all Michigan schools, public and private, achieve environmental goals, which include protecting the air, land, water, and animals of our state along with world outreach through good ecological practices and the teaching of educational stewardship of students pre-kindergarten through high school.” The program started as an idea from some Michigan students and teachers in 2005, and it was presented as a bill in 2006, which was unanimously signed into legislation that same year. In its first official year, 18 schools participated, and in 2016 MI Green Schools program had over 650 Michigan schools engaged.
The new EGLE MI Green Schools portal has a wealth of resources for those participating. There are virtual trainings, resources that schools can borrow for specific activities that are geared toward environmental lessons specifically about Michigan air, water, land, climate, flora and fauna.
If your Newaygo County school would like to participate in the MI Green Schools program for 2023-2024, contact the Newaygo County Michigan Green School Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find information at the MI Green Schools website: www.michigan.gov/egle/public/egle-classroom/michigan-green-schools.