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K-12 Schools Workshop Attendees Agree It’s Good to be Green

Abuzz with excitement and energy, participants in the “Bay Area K-12 Schools Climate Change Workshop” exchanged lessons learned on how best to turn schools “green,” share resources and reach out to teachers, students and their families. Goals of the workshop were to identify ways to help promote climate change programs in schools and how to overcome barriers to K-12 climate efforts.

About two dozen organizations and schools participated in the workshop on May 29, 2009 in Oakland, which was hosted by the Joint Policy Committee (comprised of the Association of Bay Area Governments, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission). Each organization shared information on how their program works, their funding sources, target audience, number of schools served and upcoming plans.

Other successful strategies in use in existing schools include reducing energy use in lighting, heating and cooling, cutting down on waste, training student ambassadors to be climate champions, and planting school gardens with organic produce that is eventually composted back into the earth.

“We were very pleased to see the wide range of innovative strategies that are being implemented by schools, non-profits, student organizations, parent groups and others,” said Bruce Riordan, Joint Policy Committee climate consultant, who acted as facilitator during the workshop. “We received a lot of good suggestions about how to overcome existing barriers in schools around climate protection which will speed up everyone’s efforts in the coming years. Our four agencies applaud the great work that is spreading through K-12 schools in the Bay Area.”

Participating Organizations

(Hosted by the Joint Policy Committee, with representatives from the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.)

  • Alliance for Climate Education
  • Center for Cities & Schools, UC Berkeley
  • Chabot Space & Science Center
  • Climate Change
  • Climate Project, The
  • Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHIPS)
  • Cool Schools (Sonoma)
  • Cool the Earth
  • Crocker Highlands Elementary School, Oakland
  • Gunn High School, Palo Alto
  • Go Green Schools Program, City of San Jose
  • Green Business Program (ABAG)
  • Green Schools Initiative
  • Green the Next, San Francisco Unified School District
  • Helios Project, Kyoto USA/Berkeley
  • “I Pool to School,” City of Pleasanton
  • NEED Project, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • NoteNiks
  • Office of Education & the Environment, CA Integrated Waste Management Board
  • Safe Routes to Schools (Counties of Alameda, Marin and Solano)

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