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News and Notices

King County honors Auburn schools for 'green' efforts

The King County Green Schools Program recently recognized four Auburn schools for successful conservation practices.

The program has three levels which involve students and staff in learning about and practicing conservation of natural resources.

Arthur Jacobsen and Lea Hill elementary schools were among 13 schools in the county that completed Level Two by engaging in energy conservation actions, such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms.

Auburn High School and Gildo Rey Elementary were among 21 schools that completed Level One by expanding recycling practices and focusing on waste reduction strategies, such as decreasing paper use.

Schools that complete Level Three learn about and engage in water conservation and pollution prevention practices.

"Staff and students at these 39 schools have embraced recycling, reducing waste and other conservation actions, with assistance from the County's Green Schools Program," said Dale Alekel, program manager.

The program has served a growing number of schools each year, with 100 schools participating in 2009-10, 120 in 2010-11, 154 in 2011-12, and 174 in 2012-13.

The program assists school districts as well as schools, with 12 districts participating in 2012-13.

The award-winning program provides hands-on assistance, recycling containers and stickers, and the ongoing support schools need to engage students and staff in conservation actions.

Simple steps such as recycling paper, bottles and cans add up to big benefits. Alekel said most participants report cuts in operating expenses after maintaining successful waste reduction and recycling practices and reducing energy and water use.

In addition to providing schools with the hands-on help they need, the Green Schools Program offers a website, www.kingcounty.gov/GreenSchools, with helpful tools and resources.

King County also provides an elementary school assembly program, classroom workshops and support for student green teams. Schools and districts interested in the Green Schools Program can contact Alekel at dale.alekel@kingcounty.gov.