Clark County Green News

Current Green Schools news, articles and information

Clark County Honors K-12 Environmental Sustainability Champions with Green Awards

This Earth Day, Clark County Public Health is honoring environmental sustainability leaders in local K-12 schools with the 2023 Green Awards. The annual Green Awards highlight the accomplishments of individuals and organizations and celebrate their commitment to reducing harmful environmental impacts, educating others, and giving back to the community.

This year's awards recognize a local educator and three student green teams for their commitment to creating a healthy and sustainable culture on school campuses. Winners will receive unique trophies crafted by students at Washougal High School and made entirely from recycled materials.

Clark County Green Schools provides waste reduction education and materials to all public and private K-12 schools in Clark County. For more information, visit the Clark County Green Schools website

Green Apple of the Year Award: Mark Watrin

The annual Clark County Green Apple Award is presented for an individual involved in school (public or private) sustainability initiatives, projects and programs. The 2023 award winner is Mark Watrin!

Mark Watrin is a retired science educator and current member of the Battle Ground Public Schools Board of Directors. In retirement, Watrin volunteers to build outdoor learning spaces, construct school gardens and lead habitat restoration projects in Battle Ground Public Schools and Vancouver Public Schools. Some of his projects have included a native habitat garden at Laurin Middle School and raised garden boxes at Minnehaha Elementary School.

Green Team of the Year Awards 

This award celebrates the amazing students who participate in their school's green team and work on environmental projects to create a healthy and sustainable culture around campus. 

Elementary School Green Team of the Year: Illahee Elementary 

The Illahee Elementary School green team has student members in third through fifth grades, as well as parent volunteers and the school custodian. Students on the green team are responsible for caring for the school's outdoor learning spaces, reducing waste around school, and educating other students on the importance of sustainability. The school's outdoor classroom is one of the largest projects completed by the green team. 

High School Green Team of the Year: La Center High School

The La Center High School green team, Environmental Action Team, is leading a districtwide sustainability project to collect food scraps for compost at all La Center schools. The green team students also manage a large natural school garden, complete stream monitoring projects, raise salmon hatchlings in the classroom, lead habitat restoration projects and coordinate events that celebrate school sustainability. The Environmental Action Team is also working to construct a green shed on campus that will be equipped with rain barrels, native plants and solar panels.  

Mixed Grade Green Team of the Year: Washington State School for the Blind

The green team at the Washington State School for the Blind, the Green Beings, launched last year and has 11 members. The team started using redworms to compost food waste and coffee grounds from the school's coffee shop. Students on the green team have worked with Clark County Green Schools and Waste Connections to set up accessible recycling locations throughout the school. And they have adopted a city block and participate in regular litter clean-up efforts. 

Green Award Trophies 

This year's award trophies are extra special. Winners will receive unique trophies crafted by students at Washougal High School and made entirely from recycled materials. 

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