Global Green Environmental Education Recap: Engaging Young People in Environmental Literacy and Stewardship in 2015-16
At Global Green we recognize the critical need to foster environmental literacy and stewardship among our youth, with that value in mind, we make every effort to incorporate youth education and stewardship in our work across our offices. In the 2015-16 school year, our team engaged over 700 students in environmental education, stewardship and recognition. In New Orleans, our Education Program Associate serves as the coordinator for the New Orleans Environmental Education Collaborative (NOEEC), a group of more than 30 environmental education organizations and programs operating in the Greater New Orleans region. NOEEC presents to teachers and schools about the opportunities to partner with these programs and provides member organizations with resources for professional and program development, as well as fosters collaboration among the groups. Global Green provides lessons on the topics of green urbanism, water management, and healthy homes both in class and through field trips to our LEED Platinum Visitor Center in the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans. This year we launched the Eco Leader and Global Green Champion student awards at our annual Pre-Oscar event in Los Angeles honoring students who have exhibited leadership in sustainability at their schools.
Highlights of Global Green’s education work include our Water Wise NOLA program engaging over 40 students from New Orleans public schools in service projects implementing green infrastructure and neighborhood beautification in the 7th ward and the 9th ward of New Orleans. Students learned about the water system of their city, what issues residents are facing due to subsidence and localized flooding, and then how to implement solutions for low to no-cost.
As a mentor for the Louisiana Green Schools Challenge for the 3rd year in a row, we worked with St. Andrew’s Episcopal School 7th graders to address a sustainability issue on their campus. The students identified stormwater runoff as an issue on their campus. After providing them with background and education on stormwater as an issue in our region and what methods are used to address it across the city, the students performed assessments of their campus, identified opportunity areas for green infrastructure, and created model designs of their proposed solutions. The students presented their designs to the school leadership, and as a result, the school plans to implement one of the designs, and has agreed to make a school campus policy that any concrete repairs/replacements will be retrofitted to include permeable pavement.
Through our partnership with a local youth green jobs training program, Louisiana Green Corps (LAGC), we taught Green Urbanism Education to 36 LAGC members. This program includes an overview of sustainability; including waste, energy, water, transportation and community development, and hands on activities that include performing an energy audit and designing a sustainable neighborhood. These lessons lay the foundation for corps members’ job training in energy efficiency and construction, introducing them to green building practices and technologies, as well as other green jobs they can pursue.
Our Solar for Sandy program in New York which works to create climate resilient disaster preparedness hubs in communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy with the installation of advanced energy efficiency technologies, provided energy and resilience education to the students of our second site, the Church of God Christian Academy. The event included a lesson for Academy students detailing their school’s upcoming retrofits, including solar power and battery storage, and a community resource fair. Check out the video here: http://www.globalgreen.org/sandy/