CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Morgan County’s Berkeley Springs High School received the 2016 U.S. Department of Education (USDE) Green Ribbon Schools Award last Friday. The school was awarded the recognition for its dedication to environmental education, farming and growing produce for the local farmer’s market, and conservation of energy.
This award is part of a larger nationwide program created by the USDE to inspire schools to save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness and offer sustainability education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.
Berkeley Springs High School, which lies within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, provides students prime access to watershed education. The school has the support of the environmentally-friendly community in providing key education and opportunities for students to participate in service projects, creating awareness for protecting and improving local watersheds.
Students at Berkeley Springs High School also have the opportunity to learn about farming and to work with local growers to cultivate fresh produce for the local farmer’s market. Produce is grown on campus to be sold to the school district for use in school cafeterias, and many of the surrounding farms are sourced through the school district—enhancing the school’s commitment to providing local, nutritious produce while contributing to the economic development in the community.
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The honorees include 41 public schools and six private schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations.
“Berkeley Springs High School is a prime example of how West Virginia schools are dedicated to sustainability, health and wellness, and community engagement,” said Robin Sizemore, WVDE Coordinator of WV Sustainable Schools. “The students participate in environmentally-friendly projects that incorporate science, technology, engineering and math skills, which plays a central role in preparing them for the jobs of the future.”
For additional information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.