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2010/2011 Fl Ele eetw me oo nt d-B ar aw yS d ch en oo l

You can apply online for the School Environmental Quest. Go to, click on Sustainable Development, Community Investment and then Application and Guidelines. There is a brand new easy to fill out School Environmental Quest application. Schools near our areas of operation are eligible to apply. For any questions please contact Cleo Howe at: or 403-233-4067 Deadline for the 2011/12 school year applications is October 15, 2011. ConocoPhillips Canada reserves the right to edit selected submissions for clarity and length. It also reserves the right to select photos included for publishing with submissions based on their overall quality for the final print production.

Teachers can access and get ideas from these other programs that ConocoPhillips Canada supports:

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Science Alberta, Science Crates SEEDS Foundation Pembina Green Learning

Message from Joe Marushack, President, ConocoPhillips Canada

ConocoPhillips Canada is one of the country’s largest oil and natural gas production and exploration companies.

Over 100 schools across Alberta, and as far north as Aklavik in the Northwest Territories, are now participating in our Environmental Quest program. As you’ll read in the pages that follow, these schools are making a real difference in their community by reducing their footprint and helping their students become strong stewards of the environment.

Headquartered in Calgary,

From installing energy efficient light fixtures to building oxygen producing living walls, participating schools are teaching their students the importance of the environment with hands on experience.

Western Canada, Northern

This book showcases each school’s project, with the intent that others will benefit and build upon the students’ ideas. I’m sure you’ll be impressed by what you read, and I offer a hearty and sincere thank you to all the teachers who make it all come together. Without their tremendous support this program simply would not be possible.

Alberta, we are well positioned

ConocoPhillips Canada supports the communities where we live and work and the School Environmental Quest program is just one way we support education and environmental initiatives. For more information on our community investment programs, please visit our website at Joe Marushack, President, ConocoPhillips Canada

Alberta we are a leading producer of natural gas in the country, with a world-class portfolio including assets in and Atlantic Canada. With our interests near Fort McMurray, to become a leading in-situ producer in the oil sands. Our story in Canada began over 100 years ago and continues today with our team of over 2,200 full-time employees and contractors. Together we are working towards becoming the leading gas and bitumen producer in Canada. To find out more, visit 3 1

2011 SchoolEnvironmental Challenge


Assumption R.C. School

Beaverlodge Elementary School

Oyen, AB

Beaverlodge, AB

It starts with a question

Revitalizing flowerbeds

It all started with the question, “How can we make our playground more enjoyable?” Students decided comfortable seating and a place to put garbage and recyclables would enhance and beautify their playground for the community. After talking with a local welder the school purchased an attractive park bench and a useful garbage bin holder. They now have great seating and a litter-free playground.

The flowerbeds at Beaverlodge Elementary School had become a weed-filled eyesore. The school’s Gardening Club, made up of approximately 12 Grade 4 students, went to work organizing and planning the flowerbed revitalization project. This meant removing weeds, building new flowerbeds, transplanting existing plants, planting flowers and adding benches. The Beaverlodge gardens are now colourful and pleasing to the eye!

Berry Creek School

Condor School

Berry Creek, AB

Condor, AB

School and community recycling

Plants, shrubs and trees

Berry Creek School used the funds received from the grant to upgrade recycling bins and maintain their current recycling program. The upgraded recycling program not only serves the Berry Creek Community School, but the entire Cessford area.

Condor School improved their schoolyard this year with trees, shrubs and flowers. Students were involved in the research and study of the schoolyard’s environment firsthand as part of their regular studies.

Big Valley School

École Pine Grove Middle School

Big Valley, AB

Edson, AB

Composting for the community

Digging, planting, growing

Big Valley School had big plans for its composting program: to have a greenhouse and grow plants with the school’s compost, so it can give the plants to the town’s flowerbeds. What a lucky town to have such a generousminded school!

Grade 7 students at École Pine Grove School will watch the trees and flowers they planted grow in future years. By planting trees and flowers at the school front entrance, students learned about important living organisms while at the same time beautifying the school.


Conklin School Conklin, AB

Eckville Elementary School

Top recycler!

Eckville, AB

Recycling in Conklin can be challenging with the nearest bottle depot located an hour and a half away from town. The cold and dark winter months can also hinder efforts. Conklin School installed heat and lights in their garage so that bottles can be sorted and counted all winter. With the additions to the recycling program and hard work of students and staff, Conklin School is now top in the MT School Recycling Program with 188,510 containers recycled.

Masks share great message Eckville students studying endangered species found making masks was not only fun but helped them understand why animals are endangered. After researching endangered species, students worked with an artist in residency to create original masks. In the process students learned why certain species are becoming extinct. Furthermore, students used their masks to share their learning with the school in theatre and storytelling projects.

Anzac School Anzac, AB

Books to Belize The Anzac School recycled 14 boxes of library books and sent them to a needy school in Belize. The English language school was very excited to receive the books


École Rocky Elementary School

Eldorado Elementary School

Rocky Mountain House, AB

Drayton Valley, AB

Recycling to a new playground

Towering trees

With a focus on recycling, the Green Machine environmental group at École Rocky School purchased garbage pickers and rolling containers this year. All the money raised by the recyclables goes toward creating a barrier-free playground. Thanks to the hard work of the Green Machine the school has already raised $2,000!

Elnora School Elnora, AB

After two years of planning, the Eldorado Elementary School is home to a new eco-garden. The Grade 4 classes were pivotal in planning the new natural space and volunteers from the entire school helped with the planting process. In addition to growing crops, this inner-city school is now the proud home of Mountain Ash, Blue Globe Spruce, a Laurel Leaf Willow and many sundry plants. These plants and trees will provide years of oxygen, decades of shade and always be a place for students to enjoy quiet reflection.

School caretaker very happy How do you make your caretaker happy? Try purchasing 16 blue plastic recycling bins to lighten the garbage load. Elnora School found that with its new recycling bins, its dumpster is emptier and its caretaker happier. Students have recycled hundreds of dollars of containers that would have normally gone into a landfill.


Elmworth School Elmworth, AB


Evergreen Elementary School

Recycled paper making

Drayton Valley, AB

Grade 4 students currently studying “Waste and our World” as part of the regular curriculum became responsible for year-round paper and bottle recycling. They went on a tour of the Eco-Centre in Grande Prairie and made paper at Muskoseepi Park. Students learned about all the different processes at the Recycle Plus Facility, as well as various uses for recycled materials. The real highlight for the group was the chance to make paper from recycled paper. Going through the whole process was a great handson experience for all the students.

Grow lights create sustainability Fortunately for Evergreen School, there is a large group of Grades 4 to 6 students interested in leading a school environmental vision. This green team wanted to grow annuals for the schoolyard’s new eco-zone, so the school wouldn’t have to buy them. With the funding from ConocoPhillips Canada, the team purchased inside “greenhouses” called grow-lights. Purchasing 11 lights allows the school to sustain its garden in an easy and cost-effective way for years to come!

Fleetwood-Bawden Elementary School

Granum School

Lethbridge, AB

Small action – big rewards!

Making black gold

As a small school in southern Alberta, Granum School’s environmental project is not huge, but it is important. The school playground also serves as the community playground so it is well used not only during school but after school and throughout the summer. It made perfect sense to purchase a permanent, sturdy garbage/recycling station visible in the playground for everyone’s use. The new bin will keep recyclables out the land fill year-round and ensure a clean playground for the whole community.

Fleetwood-Bawden Elementary School began an indoor composting system by purchasing vermicomposters and an electric composter. The students learned about the kinds of organic material suitable for both systems. Although the process of turning scraps into usable compost or “black gold” is a slower one, the students are becoming more ecologically and environmentally aware of their actions. The goal is to use the black gold harvested from a successful composting program as fertilizer for the school vegetable garden.

Granum, AB


Hanna Primary School

Major School

Hanna, AB

Major, AB

Earthboxes make it easy

Saving paper

Hanna Primary School students wanted to grow plants from seeds so they found an easy complete package to use. They ordered Earthboxes, which include a container, growing light and soil. The Earthboxes made it easy to grow vegetables and flowers seeds. Once they were big enough, the plants were transplanted to school and community gardens.

A new message board at Major School is reducing the amount of paper the school uses and saving trees. The Grade 7 to 9 class turned sod and planted flowers around the new sign to beautify the space. Overall the school is looking good with over 75 trees and shrubs planted in the last three years.

Matthew Halton High School Pincher Creek, AB

Lilacs and silver birches Matthew Halton High School EcoHawk’s are focusing on their outdoor environment this year with plans to plant lilacs and silver birches. In addition, a new composting bin helps the school’s commercial kitchen reduce its waste and fertilizes the new schoolyard plants and trees.


McLeod Elementary School

Moose Kerr School

Groundbirch, AB

Recycling for school programs

Composting on site

Moose Kerr School added recycling bins in each classroom and common areas of the school, encouraging students to recycle all plastic bottles and juice cans and boxes. With a new recycling depot open in Aklavik, the school can use funds from the recycling efforts to support sports and after-school programs.

After two years of students and staff taking compost buckets home each week, the school invested in a high quality composter. The new unit has a chain link fence around it to keep out wild animals.

Aklavik, NWT

Milo School Milo, AB

Recycling program grows Milo School recycles paper, plastics, tin and cardboard, and takes trips monthly to the Community Recycling Depot. The school added a new composter to its recycling efforts. Future plans include getting a new drop box for the batteries at the Community Recycling Depot.


O’Chiese School

Oyen Public School

Rocky Mountain House, AB

Oyen, AB

Creating environmental science projects

Sustainable landscape

At the O’Chiese First Nation School students created and displayed many amazing environmental projects for the second annual Environmental Science Olympics. Events included building the most efficient freezers and greenhouses, the quickest pop-can robots, the highest recycled rockets, the hottest solar cookers, the furthest-throwing rubber band catapults, building recycled space communication devices, and saving birds from oil spills. Students had an excellent time working together in multi-aged, fun competition while learning about the current issues in environmental science!


Changing the landscape of Oyen School meant adding self-watering planters, colourful flowers, hardy shrubs and new trees. Students also cleaned up the garden area by adding new soil and bark mulch to prevent moisture loss during hot summer days.

River Valley School Sundre, AB

Naturalized play space Over the next five years the River Valley School is planning to build a naturalized play space for their Kindergarten to Grade 8 school. One of the first steps was to get plans drawn up, so the school collaborated with Olds College to have landscaping students create a professional plan.

Sexsmith Secondary School

St. Anthony School

Sexsmith, AB

Recycling milk cartons

Alberta Envirothon winners!

Recycling smelly milk containers was a challenge for St. Anthony School until they purchased containers specifically for the milk cartons and had them placed in every classroom as well as the Grades 6 to 8 lunchroom. The school now has an efficient, smell-free way to recycle milk cartons.

The Sexsmith School’s goal was to send two teams, a junior and senior one, to the Alberta Envirothon Competition. This three-day academic competition enables high school students to learn the science behind real-life issues in their community, and then apply this knowledge to a hypothetical situation. It’s intense. The competitors learn and apply so much knowledge that they earn two high school credits! Preparing for the competition meant the Sexsmith Envirothon Club studied hard, did field tests and worked together on presentations. To help with the study, the school purchased equipment such as clinometers (to measure tree heights), books on wildlife, forestry, soils and aquatic ecology and water testing kits. With this equipment, the club felt completely prepared for the field tests and written exams on forestry, wildlife, soils and land use, aquatic ecology, and fresh and saltwater estuaries. The first day of the event was field testing, followed by written exams and oral presentations. After the vigorous testing, the school’s junior team placed eighth and the senior team won first place, making them provincial champions!

Drayton Valley, AB

St. Paul’s School Lethbridge, AB

Reducing organic waste Students at St. Paul’s School implemented a school-wide composting program to reduce the amount of organic matter going into landfills. The students delivered small green compost bins to each classroom (and the staffroom) to collect compost. Each bin is emptied directly into the large composter.


Stavely School

Sunchild School

Stavely, AB

Rocky Mountain House, AB

Four days of fun

Growing our own grub

Stavely School took part in the Evergreen Theatre Artist-in-Residence program. Two dynamic and amazing people came to the school for four days and led students in putting on a program for the community. Kindergarten to Grade 6, students worked with the artists to plan and produce an informative and entertaining play tailor-made for the Stavely community.

This year, the Grade 4 class at Sunchild School worked through a program called Grow Your Own Grub, which showed students how to plant and grow vegetables from seeds right in the classroom. Students also had the opportunity to transplant plants to an outdoor community garden. The students especially enjoyed watching the plants grow and tasting the herbs and leafy vegetables along the way.

The production, Silence of the Frogs, helped children understand the need for safe water, food and shelter for wildlife.


Thickwood Heights School

Trochu Valley School

Fort McMurray, AB

Worms at school


Trochu Valley School had an Alberta company called Worms at Work visit them. These environmental stewards prepared four vermicomposters and spent time teaching students how to maintain the new red worm composters. The students were quite excited to learn about and begin to recycle food for their new worms!

Thickwood Heights School’s Green Team not only started recycling, but they introduced a unique environmental program to the school: the adopt-a-houseplant program. Each class received a houseplant and adoption papers, and vowed to care for the plant, including giving it a name. Teachers used their new class plant as a way to engage students in learning about plants, plant care and their importance to our environment.

Trochu, AB

Valhalla Community School Valhalla Centre, AB

Still doing their part! The school continued to do its part with its full recycling program, including paper, plastic, cardboard and liquid containers. They also bought and planted 15 new spruce trees and moved several older trees to enhance the schoolyard and create a more pleasing, natural environment.


Viking School Viking, AB

Recycled writing pads

Vulcan, AB

Just over a year ago Viking School did not have a paper recycling program, so all paper ended up in the landfills. They purchased blue bins for paper recycling and also found a recycling company that would collect it from the school. In addition students educated staff and other students to recycle and keep paper that was still blank on one side. With this paper, the student group made writing pads, which were very useful for everyone.

Daffodil garden pays forward

St. Patrick Fine Arts School Lethbridge, AB

Keeping it cool and green St. Patrick Fine Arts School is designing and planting a garden that will help keep the school cool and the environment green. The garden will serve as an educational outdoor setting with trees, plants and grasses suitable to southern Alberta. It will also be used as part of the curriculums of the Grade 4 and 6 science classes.


Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School

A low-lying planter for a daffodil garden was built in a cozy corner of the Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School grounds. The garden will be used to promote learning among students, with profits from the sale of the daffodils to be split between the Canadian Cancer Society and classroom projects. The Kindergarten students will take part in the care and maintenance of the garden each year and decide how to spend its portion of the funds.

West Meadow Elementary School Claresholm, AB

Willow Creek Composite High School

New homes for birds

Claresholm, AB

This year, West Meadow Elementary School increased environmental awareness by creating homes and nesting places for local birds. Students wanted to encourage birds to nest near their homes so they could watch, listen and learn more about bird behaviour. By inviting family and friends to help build bird houses students learned the importance of caring for our environment and the value of working together to make positive change.

Bear proof bins The Willow Creek High School had a litter problem outside its front entrance. The only solution was to install a recycling bin outside the front door. Students researched a large variety of outdoor recycling containers and, after much debate, decided upon a steel, dual system garbage/ recyclables with bear proof lids (which also keep out the crows!) mounted upon a concrete base. The final choice was based upon the fact that the front entrance is exposed to heavy winds from the west and any lightweight container that wasn’t bolted down would blow away.


Calgary Schools


Altadore School

Banting and Best School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

Natural elements

Rocks for seats

Altadore School Parent Council is currently improving and expanding the outdoor play areas on the east side of the school to create an all-season play and learning environment for students. Altadore was one of the first Calgary schools to have a naturalized landscape. The newly expanded play areas will have robust natural elements including trees, rocks, logs and berms integrated with modern playground equipment.

Students of Banting and Best School helped find the perfect design elements for their new outdoor space. They removed dead and diseased plants, and mulched shrub and flowerbeds. Then they brought in large rocks that students used for an informal seating area. Students and staff continue to look at other ways to create outdoor learning spaces as part of an ongoing schoolyard naturalization and beautification program.

Blessed John XXII School

Brentwood School

Calgary, AB

Beautiful backdrop for Earth Day video

Electronics over paper To reduce use of paper, Blessed John XXII School purchased five Smart Boards. Students started using them in February, and everyone is very pleased with the reduction in paper use so far.

Bowness High School Calgary, AB

Functional green spaces Bowness High School is creating new gardens and functional spaces in its schoolyard. The design incorporates a barbeque area, vegetable garden, tranquility space, fruit woodland and stage, complete with a seating area. This will be one useful schoolyard when it is done!

Calgary, AB

The Brentwood School did a massive cleanup and restructuring of its Green Garden space. Overgrown shrubs, invasive plants and pruned trees were removed, and landscaping rocks added. As a result, the Green Garden is now a productive learning space that is safe, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing. In April, members of the school’s environment club made their inaugural visit to the revitalized space and used it as a backdrop for the creation of a video celebrating Earth Day.


Canyon Meadows International Spanish Academy

Capital Hill School

Calgary, AB

Capital Hill School continues to develop an outdoor learning environment. During the past year, it added heavy-duty recycling and garbage bins to the new creative playground area and began to focus on developing a naturalization area. Older and overgrown non-native plant species are being replaced with hardy shrubs and plants indigenous to the Calgary landscape. Students researched suitable choices, prepared the area for planting and will continue to nurture the plants until they are well established. The goal is that the area is very natural and low maintenance.

Trembling aspen grove Throughout the year, teachers and students at Canyon Meadows Academy learned about trembling aspens trees, and how they benefit Alberta’s natural regions. After planting the trees in May, students braved the rain to do a brief outdoor welcome ceremony led by the Grade 3 and 4 students.


Calgary, AB

Naturalization area

Cardinal Newman School

Centennial School

Calgary, AB

Rejuvenating recycling

Ice cream for saving power

Although Centennial High School already had a recycling program in place, the Environmental Club wanted to make it even easier for its volunteer sorters and make the containers more visible and simpler to differentiate. It ordered colour-coded recycle bins for each classroom and workspace around the school. When the bins arrived, students created colourful and artistic stickers for the bins to help students organize the recycling, and make the program run a bit smoother.

The student environment club at Cardinal Newman School found there were many ways to reduce the school’s power usage. They initiated a “turn off the lights” campaign that included announcements, a ticketing awareness program, data analysis of the ticketing and ice cream treats for winning classes. After comparing the monthly energy bills to the previous year, they discovered that they saved 6,406 kilowatt hours of electricity over just two months!

Calgary, AB


Central Memorial School

Connaught School

Calgary, AB

The more the merrier

Cookies for change

With over 40 students in the Environment Club, students did a lot of composting and worked to reduce energy in the school. The school saved 600 kilograms of food waste from the landfill and prevented over 320 kilograms of carbon dioxide from production, which is about the same as more than two weeks of driving a car! In June, the compost was spread on the school gardens, it will have gone full circle from organic waste to recycled soil to growing new plants!

Central Memorial ran an Earth Day campaign to encourage students to do more for the environment. They set up an information booth with ideas and suggestions, and encouraged the students to take a pledge to do something to help the environment. Each person that signed up received a cookie and wrote their pledge on a draw ticket. A week later, the names of several students were drawn who would be eligible to win an iTunes gift card if they gave evidence that they had fulfilled their pledge. In addition to the pledge campaign, students purchased more beverage container recycling bins for the school hallways.


Calgary, AB

The students also learned about phantom energy — the energy our electronics use when they are not in use, but still plugged in. They installed power bars at each bank of computers and Smart Boards and are educating others about saving energy by turning the bars off when electronics are not in use. Students look forward to seeing the results of their efforts when the school’s power use drops!

Chaparral School

Cranston School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

Growing native plants

Fun environmental education

Chaparral School students are beginning to understand the relationship between ecosystems and the plants native to Alberta. Students engaged in a hands-on reclamation process in the classroom, planting a one metre by one metre planter box. The plants will be transplanted to surround the school vegetable garden, creating the first section of the Chaparral naturalization area.

The Cranston School Green Team used their funding for a variety of fun environmentally friendly and educational projects. They learned about waste reduction through recycling, litter cleanup activities and vermicomposting. They turned recycled materials into crafts, hosted an Earth Day celebration and took on a recycling posters project. The team also purchased books on the environment for research projects, sheet music and a CD for the environment presentation and plants for gardening.


Chris Akkerman Elementary School

David Thompson School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

The case of the disappearing animals

Sensors save!

Evergreen Theatre came to the Chris Akkerman School to educate students about protecting endangered species. In the performance, Mother Earth wants to find out why animals are disappearing, and hires two detectives to investigate. Students and teachers help the detectives discover habitat destruction with over-harvesting and pollution. The students learned how to take care of the environment, to prevent pollution and save endangered species on Earth.

David Thompson School’s Go Green project completed a school energy audit and decided to target the reduction of energy use by installing motion sensor lights in all the classrooms, computer labs and library. In addition, the team did some schoolyard greening and composting year-round.

Douglasdale School Calgary, AB

Sunshine and open air The Douglasdale School created a sunny outdoor learning area at the front of its school. With rocks to sit on, students now have an open space they can use for sketching and writing as well as a pretty backdrop for photos.


Edgemont School Calgary, AB

Father James Whelihan

Breathing easier

Calgary, AB

Edgemont School students took a field trip to Golden Acres to learn about plants and their environments. After learning more about the benefits of plants, the students purchased grow lights and seeds to help nurture their own plants. Their plants are now producing more oxygen making the classroom a healthier place to learn.

Save energy or go directly to jail

Forest Lawn High School Calgary, AB

Jumping with solar power The new Forest Lawn High School Solar Club learned about solar power by building small solar powered cars and jumping grasshoppers. During the Grade 9 tours of the school, the club set up a booth and ran solar car races. The Solar Club and their car races were the hit of the exhibition.

The Father James Whelihan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a plan to change behaviour and it worked! They posted information on what everyone needed to do: turn off the lights if you exit a room, turn off the computers if you aren’t using them, and so on. After a few weeks of preparation a ticketing campaign began. Three times a week, the EPA went from class to class, looking for infractions. It was a progressive system, with the first and second offenses being a warning, and a third infraction sending you to “jail” — or behind a tri-fold. The offending staff member had their picture taken there and put on display. The number of offenses gradually decreased to nearly zero. Nearly every staff member (even the office/administration staff) changed their behaviour!



Glamorgan School

Hawkwood School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

Students realize their vision

Why is water a miracle?

Glamorgan School had a vision of a new outdoor living classroom where students could learn, explore and reflect in a natural setting. Students were involved from planning through to planting, weeding, laying mulch and watering. They recognized that their efforts were creating a legacy for the school. All children will contribute to the ongoing maintenance and stewardship of this garden, learning how to sustain this green space for future generations of Glamorgan students.

While investigating the question about why water is a miracle, Hawkwood School Grade 4 students read books, watched DVDs, hosted guest speakers and had the caretaker present on how to curb water consumption. Students went on a field trip to Yamnuska where they went pond dipping and hiking as they learned about how essential water is to life. Students discovered how little freshwater there actually is on Earth and the importance of using it carefully.

H.D. Cartwright School

Hillhurst School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

Less is best

The Green Machine drives composting

H.D. Cartwright is encouraging students to determine ways to reduce garbage and save energy. As an example, dishware is used wherever possible for hot lunches, instead of disposable dishes. Large coolers were purchased to mix drinks for the Grade 9 triathlon rather than having juice boxes. The drinks, fresh fruit and bagels provided by the school produced almost no litter! The leftovers, such as the fruit peels, were composted. As well, environmental stations set up throughout the school by garbage cans encouraged students to recycle. With the focus on technology, power consumption is a concern with computers drawing power when not even in use. To reduce usage, power bars with a programmable timer are now used to charge laptops and netbooks intermittently.

Hillhurst School students, spearheaded by the environmental club, The Green Machine, initiated a composting program. Now, every classroom, as well as the staffroom, is outfitted with compost buckets, which are collected every Friday by the dedicated Green Machine members. The team created and performed a skit about what goes into a compost bin, which they followed up with a PowerPoint presentation in each class. To process the compost, aerating tools, rakes, gardening gloves, a wheelbarrow and many compostable bin liners were purchased. With these new items the school’s composting program is now well established.



John G. Diefenbaker High School

Lord Beaverbrook High School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

Botanical signs

Time for a living wall

The Green Chiefs, the environment club, were very excited about John G. Diefenbaker’s new green space. The students wrote and designed educational botanical signs to inform others about the plants in this garden. They also researched and priced out seating for the green area. Once the new benches arrive, students and teachers will be enticed to use the new outdoor space.

After the Ecology Club built a prototype living wall last year it was time to get started on the real thing. All plans relating to the construction and upkeep of the wall were taken to the Calgary Board of Education. The school board looked over a sample of parts, and blueprints and plans to address the sustainability and possibility of potential floods. Teacher supervisors attended meetings at DIRTT Environmental Solutions Limited, who are custom builders of living walls. Finally the project received the green light from school administration with the ten foot by 20 foot living wall in the main foyer of the school using the Breath Living Wall accessory system to support the plants. Stay tuned to see the finished wall!

Lycee Louis Pasteur School Calgary, AB

90% waste reduction program Lycee Louis Pasteur achieved its goal of setting a new standard among Calgary schools for comprehensive waste management. Through the leadership of the predominantly student-led Eco-Committee, each classroom and common area, indoor and outdoor, now has seven containers, six of which collect recyclable waste (compost, fibre, bottles/juice boxes, small recyclables like Ziploc bags and cookie wrappers, plastic/tin/aluminum, and reusable letter size paper). These are emptied by student teams into central sorting stations. The waste sent to the landfill has been reduced by more than 90%! Plastic bags to send what little garbage is produced to the landfill have been replaced by compostable bags.

Monsignor E.L. Doyle School Calgary, AB

Saving energy at home and school Students learned strategies to conserve energy and applied these in school, at home and in the community of Scenic Acres. Energy efficient power bars were used in school and at participating student’s homes to encourage everyone to take a closer look at energy conservation. Students made morning energy trivia and energy awareness announcements, and posted ideas for conserving energy throughout the school. “Turn out the lights� light switch plate reminders were also put up. Families documented their electrical savings by comparing their January through March 2010 power statements to their January through March 2011 statements. Six of the ten families included in the data for this report actually experienced an overall decrease in consumption over the period of the study. Students also made morning energy trivia and energy awareness announcements, and ideas for conserving energy were posted throughout the school. Turn out the lights light switch plate reminders were also put up.


Mother Mary Greene School Calgary, AB

Two is better than one Mother Mary Greene School implemented two initiatives. The first was to bring in the Evergreen Theatre Company. The Grade 4 students chose to see the play SOS Save Our Species, which the entire school enjoyed together. The play demonstrated that everyday human actions impact the environment everywhere. The second project was to implement a paper recycling program. Students recycled their classroom paper using bins to reduce the amount of waste into the garbage.


Our Lady of the Evergreens Elementary School Calgary, AB

Recycling program At the beginning of the year beverage containers at the school were put in the garbage and added to the waste. Now, the containers are all recycled. To initiate the program they purchased recycling bin dollies, so that students can move the beverage recycling bins from the recycling area to a clean-up and counting area. Gloves were also purchased for students who clean the beverage containers and count them for pick-up, along with a padlock to secure the beverage containers until they are picked up. Workshop fees for two staff members were also covered to attend a seminar on recycling by the City of Calgary. The monies collected from recycling goes back to the school for other resources. Students are proud that they are doing their part to help the environment and teach others how easily this can be done.

Radisson Park School

Pineridge School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

Importance of reducing

Reusable containers

Radisson Park School set a goal to continue reducing the amount of garbage going to the landfill from the school. Students went on a field trip to the landfill where they could see first-hand what happens to garbage and the importance of decreasing waste. The school environmental Green Team also increased awareness through many different environmental campaigns throughout the year, such as Waste Reduction Week, Water Week and Earth Day. The students share information over the morning announcements about these days. For Earth Day this year, students had an afternoon of celebrations and challenged the school to bring litterless lunches.

Pineridge School’s Junior Leadership Club led the way reducing the amount of garbage produced during snack, lunch and field trips by providing all children in Grades 2 and 3 with reusable containers for their meals. Students also researched and ordered spider plants to improve the quality of air in the school.


Royal Oak School Calgary, AB


Senator Patrick Burns School

Starring the Super Savers!

Calgary, AB

The Super Savers Environment Club, comprised of 21 extremely dedicated Grade 3 and 4 students, met weekly to be super heroes for the environment, even donning capes! The Super Savers’ goals are to increase recycling and reduce energy consumption. The club decided that educating the school about recycling would help so they made an iMovie and wrote an awesome rap to promote the program. An investigation on the amount of energy used by the school revealed that a lot was being wasted by leaving Smart Boards, computers and lights on. To battle this problem they launched a campaign called “Turn It Off!!!” They produced another movie encouraging staff and students to turn electronics off when not in use.

Pretty backdrop for photos The Senator Patrick Burns School courtyard is a well used area, but was in need of maintenance. They replaced planters, added new soil and laid fabric to protect the area from weeds. Once again students are using the space to eat lunch and take graduation photos with a backdrop of beautiful flowers.

Sherwood School Calgary, AB

Sir John A. MacDonald School

Sharing their schoolyard

Calgary, AB

Sherwood School is bringing learning outdoors. By removing old planting materials and planting pollinatorfriendly plants the new gardens are attracting butterflies and other helpful insects. The students are now looking at ways of bringing songbirds to their space, so they can continue to share their schoolyard with the non-human members of their community!

Reducing energy

Simon Fraser School Calgary, AB

Composting New compost bins and equipment made students and staff at Simon Fraser School excited about reducing garbage each week and move toward a cleaner and greener school.

By the end of the 2010 school year Sir John A. MacDonald reduced its energy consumption by approximately five percent. The Environmental Club decided it wanted to do more. The students initiated a series of activities using natural light, turning lights off when not in use and turning out every second light in the school’s hallways. They also put automatic timers on all computers so they would go into sleep mode when not in use and turn off completely at the end of each day. In addition, they initiated behavioural change by creating a graph of energy usage results beginning in 2009 to the current year, which was displayed in the foyer (a high traffic area), and making announcements to educate staff, students and administration.


St. James School Calgary, AB

Thirty to 40 percent energy reduction Saint James School currently uses light fixtures called T12s. These appliances consume a lot of energy. The students want to reduce the school’s environmental footprint, and plan to do this by replacing the T12 fixtures with lighting called T8s. The energy saving potential is 30 to 40 percent while also improving the quality of light. Due to cost, the new light fixtures will be replaced in only one classroom, but over six years the school plans to replace all lighting with the new energy-efficient fixtures.


St. Vincent Elementary and Junior High School Calgary, AB

Waste-less Wednesdays St. Vincent de Paul Elementary and Junior High School wanted environmental consciousness to become a habit. To do so, they needed to inform students and change the choices they make everyday. The new environment club now recycles more paper and beverage containers and makes weekly recycling jaunts to the local depot. Even the concession staff and school caretaker now fold and gather cardboard boxes for recycling, where before these went to the dumpster. In conjunction with this, the club initiated Waste-less Wednesdays, which encouraged staff and students to bring lunch in reusable containers or have it be recyclable.

St Albert the Great

St. Joseph School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

Energy audit = vampire power

Many activities

One idea that the Environment Club wanted to implement was to have an energy audit. The club purchased electrical metres to test the electrical consumption of different appliances in the school. Through testing, the students learned about “vampire power,” which is power appliances can draw even when turned off. Students realized that the photocopiers and LCD projectors use the most electricity. The second part to the project was to lower the amount of times the lights were left on in an empty classroom. Students in the elementary grades went around and issued “eco-tickets” to classrooms with lights or LCD projectors left on with no one in the room. The goal was to eventually lower the number of tickets issued. The junior high club sparked a “½ light Friday” event where classrooms operated with only half the lights on throughout the day.

At the beginning of the year, the Grade 4 class bought a vermicomposter, with students sharing the duties of feeding the worms. Six months later the compost soil created was used to grow bean plants, part of the Grade 4 science curriculum. Also, as a Destination Conservation School, our class, the Green Gladiators, chose the idea of energy awareness. Our campaign included classroom checks to observe the amount of electricity being used. Posters were created to promote conserving electricity. The Green Gladiators kept a tally chart to identify improvements in the school’s electricity consumption. The entire school also hosted the Evergreen Theatre Company. All elementary and junior high drama classes were involved in a performance made up of songs and scenes to showcase the state of our environment. It was a great success!


St. Matthew Elementary Junior High School Calgary, AB

Moving forward with recycling With the addition of a lockable garden shed in the courtyard of St. Matthew School, recyclers now have a sheltered area to deposit and organize recyclables that are collected daily in the school. The shed provides ample room for four large bins, plus storage space for bags and other recycling supplies. Bags of recyclables are more organized and tidy for the bottle depot.


Vista Heights School Calgary, AB

Calgary Zoo GroundWorks programs Each month the GroundWorks program from the Calgary Zoo visited Vista Heights School and worked with each class. The students went outside to the naturalization area and did things like a math lesson or a study of the trees. Other times, they took their journals and did drawings or sketches from a distance and then a close-up drawing of part of the object they drew from a distance.

St. Brigid School Calgary, AB

W. H. Cushing Workplace School

Letting in natural light

Calgary, AB

The St. Brigid Greenators, the new 40-member environment club came up with the club name, designed a club shirt and met once a week. The students did an initial energy audit of the school to determine how many lights are in each room and the wattage of each type of bulb. The Greenators also conducted a wattmeter challenge, where they measured the electricity usage of various devices in the school, such as Smart Boards, LCD projectors, overhead projectors and radios. They were surprised that some devices use energy even when they are off or in standby mode. A lights off challenge was conducted. Many classes now turn out their lights and leave the drapes open to let in natural light instead. This will result in energy savings up to about 50 percent of the current 680 kilowatt hours used daily in the school if all classes participate. The students are also trying to have the school’s hallway lights half on, as they see that there are huge energy savings possible.

Healthy water W. H. Cushing accessed a naturalist from the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary to help guide their learning in the preservation and understanding of the wetlands in Prince’s Island Park. The naturalist provided guided discovery for the remaining three trips. Students learned that people need the Earth’s natural resources, such as dead leaves, plants, mushrooms and soil, in order to live. They also learned it is important that the Earth’s water stay clean. Students discovered they must provide better sanitation and teach people how to keep water clean to ensure future generations can enjoy longer, healthier lives where our natural resources are cared for.


Wilma Hansen School

Willow Park School

Calgary, AB

Calgary, AB

Water awareness

Creating sustainable pathways

This year, Students in Service were involved in two environmental initiatives with a focus on water preservation and awareness. They wanted to soften the look and improve the air quality of the school. Flower beds were also planted at the front entrance to reduce water loss from the present bushes, flowers and trees through evaporation from the very exposed soil. They also installed a fountain in the front foyer. While focusing on water awareness, the school has become more attractive.


Willow Park School has reduced its environmental impact on the community by making a more sustainable pathway system and improving the composting and recycling program and containers. Students loved the chance to have a voice, participate in the pathway plans and improve the composting at the school.

Wildwood School Calgary, AB

Other Schools that participated:

Solar panels This year, Wildwood school advanced their ecological learning outcomes to focus on the impact our choices can have on energy consumption. The children did an energy audit by using energy metres in each classroom. They enrolled to see their monthly energy usage from ENMAX. The students made every Tuesday “Turn-off the Lights Tuesdays” and took pictures and recorded how many lights were on before the project began. After keeping track of the results, they have been able to total and average the percentages. They have moved from 56% of lights off before they began the initiative to 90% currently. The students’ action plan stated that they eventually want to go to all afternoons of the week with no lights. In addition, students have been eagerly awaiting the installation of solar panels, which are very soon to be installed on the school’s empty roof!

• • • • • • • • • • •

Hilltop High School Whitecourt, AB Holy Redeemer Catholic School Edson, AB J.C. Charyk Hanna, AB Lochearn Elementary School Rocky Mountain House, AB Niton School Niton, AB Parkland School Farmington, AB Pat Hardy Elementary School Whitecourt, AB Sir Alexander Mackenzie School Inuvik, NT A.E. Cross Junior High School Calgary, AB Father Scollen School Calgary, AB St. Rose of Lima Junior High Calgary, AB


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School Environmental Quest 2010/2011  

School Environmental Challenge

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