Green Schools Program
The County of Santa Cruz Green Schools Program (GSP) furthers the education of students, teachers and staff on environmental topics including resource conservation, storm water runoff, water quality and conservation, energy conservation, recycling, and waste reduction. The goal of GPS is to support the county’s schools as they evolve into "Green Schools" that model wise resource use, eliminate waste, reduce non-point source pollution, and train students to conserve scarce resources like energy and water. The program provides both in-class and school-wide presentations, educational assemblies, and technical assistance to member schools.
The GSP is an elaboration of the original award-winning Waste Free Schools (WFS) program which focused entirely on waste reduction and recycling education. The GSP builds on the success of the WFS program that has been in place since 1997. The GSP is funded by the County of Santa Cruz Public Works Departments, and the County's hauler franchise Green Waste Recovery (GWR).
All schools in the unincorporated area of the County of Santa Cruz are invited to participate in the GSP. The County has contracted with Coastal Watershed Council to support school district staff and offer presentations and assemblies at schools. Presentations are available for all grades (Kindergarten thru 12th grade), teachers, administrators, cafeteria staff, and custodians.
How the Program Works
Site leaders meet with GSP staff to gain assistance in reducing trash and increasing recycling efforts, increasing water and energy conservation, and in planning school events
that support the goals of the GSP. Site leaders are the point people at their schools, reminding other teachers and administrators of the goals and priorities of the GSP, and pushing for changes that would incorporate the conservation and waste reduction methods discussed in their meetings with GSP
staff. Each school, with the help of GSP staff, develops its own individualized plan to reduce resources use, minimize waste and increase recycling.
The Green Schools Checklist includes a broad range of the actions and activities a school can undertake to reduce its environmental footprint.
The schools can then obtain a "Green Business" Certification.
The schools are also asked to participate in community outreach events. Under teacher supervision, the students at participating schools, are required to participate in a hands-on learning event tied to the program’s goals such as a beach, watershed or river cleanup or a storm drain marking project that also serves to spread the environmental message to the greater community.
Assembly and classroom presentations offered by Coastal Watershed Council to schools enrolled in the GSP include the following popular entertaining and educational shows:
Environmental Water Show
Why is trash a big problem?
Water-Saving, and pollution
How Much Stuff is enough?
- Alianza Charter School, Watsonville
- Amesti Elementary School, Watsonville
- Aptos Junior High School, Aptos
- Aptos High School, Aptos
- Mount Madonna School, Watsonville
- Bonny Doon Elementary School, Bonny Doon
- Boulder Creek Elementary School, Boulder Creek
- Bradley Elementary School, Corralitos
- Brook Knoll Elementary School, Santa Cruz
- Cypress Charter High School, Live Oak
- Del Mar Elementary School, Live Oak
- Green Acres Elementary School, Live Oak
- Happy Valley Elementary School, Santa Cruz
- Lakeview Middle School, Watsonville
- Live Oak Elementary School, Live Oak
- Main Street Elementary School, Soquel
- Mar Vista Elementary School, Aptos
- Monte Vista Christian School, Watsonville
- Mountain Elementary School, Soquel
- Pacific Elementary School, Davenport
- Rio del Mar Elementary School, Aptos
- San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School, Felton
- San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton
- San Lorenzo Valley Middle School, Felton
- Santa Cruz Gardens School Elementary School, Santa Cruz
- Shoreline Middle School, Live Oak
- Soquel Elementary School, Soquel
- Tierra Pacifica Charter School, Live Oak