Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

D95 wins Green Ribbon Award

Photo by Ayaan Hamid
Transition students work at the greenhouse located at LZHS. The transition students use the greenhouse to set up a plant sale, which was one of the reasons that District 95 won the US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award.

This year, Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 was one of ten school districts to win the US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) Award.

The ED-GRS Award, which is awarded annually to schools, districts and post-secondary institutions nationwide, is “a public engagement initiative for school sustainability that is structured as a federal recognition award,” according to the US Department of Education.

“[The purpose of this award is] to boost environmental sustainability in our schools, and to highlight the way that modern, healthy, efficient school facilities, environmental education, and wellness practices can increase student achievement and educational equity,” Miguel Cardona, US Secretary of Education, said in a video announcing this year’s honorees, including D95.

According to the ED Office of Communications and Outreach, D95 “implements a multifaceted approach to sustainability, health, and environmental education,” with one such facet being its renewable energy sources, such as geothermal fields, which siphons power from the earths surface, and solar panels.

“Part of the energy that we normally consume, from an electricity standpoint, needs to be green–so either needs to be wind power, solar, etc.,” Lyle Erstad, Director of Facilities at District 95, said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to explore solar as a possibility to offset some of the costs associated with cooling and heating those spaces.”

Another one of District 95’s efforts in “championing environmental sustainability,” according to Kelly Gallt, Superintendent, has been environmental education, which is pushed by clubs such as REACT, which works with the Ancient Oaks Foundation to tackle invasive species, and Edvironment, a club at LZHS focused on cultivating environmental education and awareness.

“[Edvironment] developed environmental lessons for every single grade level K-12 […] related to reducing impacts in the environment,” McKenna Serowka, LZHS Science Division Head and Edvironment club sponsor, said.

Some of Edvironments sustainability efforts include writing a grant to District 95 to invest in composters, raised planter beds, and pop-up greenhouses, as well as awareness programs like an oil spill clean up activity at Sarah Adams Elementary School on Earth Day.

According to Serowka, the award is “huge,” and not only acknowledges the work that District 95 has done, but also encourages it.

“It affirms the work that we’ve already done,” Gallt said. “It’s an encouragement to keep the train moving and, as they say, move forward.”

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About the Contributor
Ayaan Hamid
Ayaan Hamid, News Editor
This is Ayaan’s second year on staff but first time as News Editor. Ayaan is involved with Interact and Badminton Club. He also enjoys playing video games with his two younger brothers Hamza and Ahmed, reading his soon-to-be vast collection of history books, and eating anything with tomatoes in it. 

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