HISD kicks off Eco-Schools USA Green Schools Challenge

School district participates in competition for second year

The Houston Independent School District and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) are teaming up to kick off the district’s second annual Green Schools Challenge this month in an effort to decrease the district’s energy consumption. HISD schools will have until Oct.15 to sign up for the competition, which will take place until March 2015.

The goal of the Eco-Schools USA program is to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the culture of a school, creating Eco-Action teams that include students, teachers, administrators, non-teaching staff, parents and the community. As schools learn to “green up” their facilities and school grounds, they see tangible benefits, including reduced energy costs, increases in recycling and reductions in water use.

“We’re excited to kick off this program because it fosters a sense of environmental stewardship among students and a culture of sustainability throughout the school community,” said HISD Energy and Sustainability Manager Kellie Williams. “The Eco-Schools USA program helps students become more engaged in science, math, and technology as they learn how their actions can directly impact the environment.”

In June, the HISD Board of Trustees approved a five-year term Memorandum of Agreement with NWF’s Eco-Schools USA to implement the program district-wide. To date, 30 HISD campuses have registered to participate in the Eco-Schools program with the goal to double that number during the 2014-2015 school year.

The top three winners will be determined by the percent of reduced energy consumption per square foot and if the campus becomes a NWF Eco-School. The winners will be announced in May 2015.

Winners of the competition are also eligible to win $1,300 in cash incentives and a beautification project. To register a school in the competition, Eco-Schools USA will be holding two Energy Pathway Workshops this month.

  • Elementary School – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, at Berry Elementary School
  • Middle School – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Marcile Hollingsworth Science Center

For more information about Eco-Schools and the energy challenge, please visit www.houstonisd.org/greenschools.