National Wildlife Federation official schoolyard habitat since 2006
Habitat program and partnership with Highlands Center for Natural History
Outdoor learning Habitat curriculum and lessons at all grade levels
New “Home Sweet Home” (HSH) habitat, with native plants and outdoor classroom area
Currently implementing a lunchroom composting program, for use in courtyard growing boxes
Fifth grade annual environmental camp
Collaboration with Prescott College science education
Annual Arbor Day celebration
Community planting and campus beautification days
Energy & Water Conservation
Implementation of district-wide APS electric/water/gas audit recommendations (2003), resulting in installation of energy efficient lighting and occupancy sensors throughout, energy efficient centralized HVAC controls, water heater timer, and low flow toilets
Ongoing collaboration with APS to plant low-water landscaping (since 2005)
Recipient of $1,000 grant to implement water conservation model: collecting rooftop runoff to include 100-gallon water storage and rooftop guttering in the courtyard, as well as teacher resource materials
Garden drip system installed (2007-08)
Staff and student participation in energy conservation by turning off unused lights and electronics, shutting down computers and peripherals, etc.
Participation in Safe Routes to School, which promotes non-motorized commuting to school
Outdoor mural depicting alternative modes of transportation with Prescott Alternative Transportation (2009)
Whenever possible, teachers, students, and staff are expected to conserve paper by using both sides of the sheet
Blue bin collection in classrooms and hallways for paper, plastic, cardboard by the City of Prescott
Collection of plastic shopping bags for recycling
Printer cartridge recycling program
Elmer’s glue bottles and glue sticks recycling program
Habitat benches supplied by Alta Vista Garden Club, constructed of TimberTech all-recycled material
These days there’s a lot of “green” talk being tossed around.What it comes down to is none of us operates in a vacuum. What we buy, what we do or do not recycle, what we throw away all has an impact on our planet. Our choices and behaviors have a ripple effect that reaches across the world today, and on to future generations. Schools that model and teach principles of environmentally responsible behaviors will have a long-term positive impact.
“Going green” is a process, especially in a school. At Miller Valley, we call it
environmental stewardship, and we’ve been working on this green course since 2003, with the start of our certified wildlife habitat. Through outdoor hands-on learning, our students have developed a deep connection to the environment.
Greening a school can be as simple as opening the eyes of a child to the native plants just beyond the playground, or helping a student calculate the carbon footprint of her trip to school. And regardless of budget or setting, there’s a lot each of us can do to inspire students to make the world a little greener.