The College Park City-University Partnership (the Partnership) is the local nonprofit development corporation working to implement the University District Vision 2020 – which calls for initiatives in 5 strategy areas: housing and development, K-12 education, transportation, public safety and sustainability. Its sustainability committee’s mission is for College Park to be a healthy, attractive, innovative, and compelling place to live and work. Its education committee has the goal of providing high quality public education for children (attracting and retaining more residents, including UMD staff) who will achieve in school, college and beyond. Our goal: all schools serving College Park families are green schools and certified by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.
The City of College Park’s Education Advisory Committee is committed to supporting, strengthening and promoting the schools the College Park students attend by informing the community and the City on education issues and opportunities, improving the image of our schools and other educational opportunities in College Park, promoting parental and community involvement, facilitating University of Maryland involvement, building partnerships with other College Park entities (i.e. College Park City-University Partnership, local school PTAS, etc.) and implementing the Pilot EAC report.
Together, in 2018, they teamed up to recognize schools for their sustainability practices, with the goal of energizing schools to become and maintain their status as green schools through the Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Green School program. Note: the MAEOE green school program application is arduous for local schools to complete, and external recognition for green school programs is a boost for their applications.
ABOUT THE AWARD ITSELF
The College Park Green School Award, in its first year, was open to all schools serving College Park students. It included the following categories for awards:
- Energy Conservation
- Water Conservation
- Pollution Prevention
- Recycling/Re-Use measures
- Air Quality
- “Green-o-vation” project (STEM + Green +Innovation)
Criteria for receiving an award for the first year included filling out a questionnaire that drilled down on the project – including questions about the initiative, how many students were involved, how it’s a success, what challenges are faced, and how the projects/initiatives would be sustainability in the future. Schools had to upload document for this award that included photos as well.
In its first year, the City of College Park were able to give four schools a Green School Award for their work on sustainability programs:
Hyattsville Middle School (Launching a school-wide recycling program)
Paint Branch Elementary School (Bottle and Crayola marker recycling)
Hollywood Elementary School (G.O.L.D is Green – launching a green leadership team and recycling)
Berwyn Heights Elementary School (Composting and gardening Program)
Awards were presented by College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn on Tuesday, June 11th at the City Council meeting. Rose Colby Greene from the City Education Advisory Committee and Eric Olson, executive director for the Partnership also presented the awards.