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Black and orange going green

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Call the Communications Office at (518) 695-3255, ext. 1245 for more information on this story.

June 22, 2011

Among all the black and orange around the district, you’re bound to see a more and more green emerging as a group of parents and community members have been dedicating themselves to a Green Ribbon School initiative. The goal of this long-term project is to recognize and support the many ways that the school community promotes environmental literacy, encourages outdoor learning and exploration, incorporates positive health and fitness decisions and promotes efficiency and reduced consumption on the campus. Members of Schuylerville’s Green Ribbon team are also dedicated to expanding the district’s green initiatives.

Four cornerstones

The Green Ribbon School initiative is designed to be inclusive, to reinforce environmentally conscious behaviors and foster a movement toward sustainability, all while positively impacting students’ education and wellness. This also presents a great opportunity to integrate health, environmental and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills into educational programs that promote sustainability. Schuylerville’s activities will follow the four national Green Ribbon cornerstones, which are:


square bulletEnvironmentally Friendly Campus (Eco-campus): conserving natural resources and creating green spaces for a healthy, energy-wise school.






square bulletNature Adventure: encouraging outdoor recreation, skills and play during and after school.






square bulletHealth and Fitness: providing wholesome nutrition, fitness opportunities and life-long learning habits.






square bulletNatural Classrooms: integrating nature and natural systems to facilitate learning across the curricula.


Variety of accomplishments this year

Volunteers, students and staff have already engaged in numerous activities throughout the school year, including:


square bulletExpanding the district-wide Green Fiber Recycling program. Under this program recycled materials (paper, magazines, newspapers, etc.) are collected and used to make insulation; the district receives payments for the recycled waste.





square bulletOrganizing “Dumpster DIVE-erting Days,” which focused on collecting school supplies from end-of-the-year locker and classroom clean-outs; these supplies will be reused rather than thrown out.






square bulletCreating an outdoor classroom on campus. This natural area was outfitted with benches made by volunteers. Students will be able to use the area for many different purposes, including inspiration for art projects, quiet outdoor curriculum lessons, etc.






square bulletPlanting a butterfly garden. Local experts, including business owners, stepped up to offer their expertise and to donate supplies.

Green Ribbon Schools: students make birdhouses
A Green Ribbon School volunteer helps sixth-graders build a birdhouse for the campus bird-watching trail.





square bulletInstalling a bird-watching trail on campus. Students also worked with Green Ribbon volunteers to build and erect new birdhouses on the trail and in the butterfly garden. Thanks to a Stewart’s Holiday Match Grant awarded to the Green Ribbon School Project, second-grade teachers will enhance their “Birds in Your Backyard” program and participate in Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology Project NestWatch.






square bulletOrganizing activities related to National Bike/Walk to School Days.






square bulletWriting and recording “green tips” for the Elementary School’s morning news broadcast.






square bulletProviding support to Parents as Educational Partners (PEP) and the district’s Food Services program for the Elementary School’s Rainbow Foods Week. During this week, students were encouraged to try new fruits and vegetables—both as extra treats and as part of the regular school menu. School “chefs” were even able to sneak some extra nutrition into dessert, as students eagerly consumed brownies that contained blueberries and spinach!






square bulletHelping to organize participation in a Recycled Art Show. Fourth-grade art students and Art Club members created artistic sculptures using recycled materials. The works were displayed during a community-wide art show at Hudson Crossing Park and the Saratoga National Historical Park.


Click here to view a copy of the Green Ribbon Team’s recent presentation to Schuylerville’s Board of Education [PDF].





Join the green team

Green Ribbon team members are thrilled with the level of support they’ve received this year. Donations of time, effort and supplies have come from Olde Saratoga Home and Garden, Blue Elm Design Studio, Booth’s Blend, as well as local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops. Sponsors included Hudson Crossing Park, Stewart’s Holiday Match program and the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region.

More than 125 parents, teachers and students have already joined the Green Ribbon Team’s e-mail list. The group also has a Facebook page. For more details about the Green Ribbon Team’s activities or to join, send an e-mail message to The district’s Green Ribbon Launch Team members include district parents Deborah McGloine and Betty Gifford, as well as Hudson Crossing Park’s Green Ribbon Schools Project Director Cindy Wian. For more information on Green Ribbon Schools on the national level, go to