Check out the “Green Scene” at FMPSD

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Fort McMurray, our beautiful northern home is known for many things, but, environmental stewardship might not be the top 10. At the Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) however, environmental stewardship is certainly top three.

Did you know FMPSD is dedicated to environmental stewardship through the efforts of a “Green Scene” committee? The Green Scene is a collaboration between the Board of Trustees, our Superintendent Jennifer Turner, administration, teachers, parents, and on special occasions, even students. Their collective vision is to encourage environmental education and action in our 16 schools, Division and community. This year’s committee is made up of 10 members.

Since its inception in 2014, Green Scene has led a variety of Division-wide initiatives and programs. Each school was supplied with Idle-Free Zone signs for parent drop off areas. Seed funding of $500 was provided for each school to fundraise and install bottle filling stations. Through this encouragement, 26 bottle filling stations were installed over the course of three years.

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Last summer the Division Operations and Management (O&M) department installed the final six bottle filling stations. O&M also negotiated a new waste pickup contract, and now every school and building has, in addition to a waste dumpster, a paper/cardboard dumpster for recycling.

Our collaboration with environmental organizations such as Alberta Council for Environmental Education (commonly known as ACEE), Inside Education, Alberta Emerald Awards, Destination Conservation, and EverGreen Schools has resulted in professional development, student workshops and numerous awards. The water crisis has been a focus for our environmental education programming, with guest speakers, and ensuring that students understand the Athabasca River Basin and where our water comes from.

Green Scene shares information on environmental grants. With a total of over $300,000 in grants from organizations such as BP Oil, EcoVoyageur, and Shell, teachers and student teams have installed solar panels, aquaponics systems, greenhouses and indoor tower gardens. Schools have reduced waste through beverage container recycling, waste-free lunches and extensive and varied composting programs.

In collaboration with the local Municipality and local businesses, almost all schools now have outdoor school learning gardens and designated outdoor learning spaces. Teachers who serve on the Green Scene were successful in securing $250,000 towards solar panels across the Fort McMurray School Division, located on the roofs of École McTavish and Westwood Community High School. Student teams are engaged in all parts of the projects: brainstorming, implementing and working with others.

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FMPSD educators are passionate innovators who despite the odds are always Doing What’s Best for Kids. Students helped with environmental stewardship after the devastating losses of the Horse River fire in 2016. With the support and guidance of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Tree Canada (2017), Alberta Parks (2018), and with funding provided by Chevrolet Canada ($10,000) and Intact Insurance ($4000), 600 students successfully replanted over 4200 trees in the Boreal Forest. After six years of continued growth and expansion of the Green Scene, the students of FMPSD are prepared and ready for 21st century problems!

With each step taken we are ensuring our students grow as responsible and capable environmental citizens. We’re also ensuring Fort McMurray, Alberta and all of Canada know that Fort McMurray Public School Division is a bustling boomtown of environmental stewardship, largely in part of the efforts of the Green Scene.

Find out more:
Website: https://www.fmpsdschools.ca/Green%20District.php
Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenscenefmpsd?lang=en
Green Scene Newsletter: https://www.smore.com/0mbf6-green-scene-fmpsd-june-2020
Look at the bottom for links to previous newsletters highlighting green initiatives
Doing What’s Best for Kids. For more information on any of our 16 schools, visit: www.fmpsdschools.ca. For real time updates: follow us on Twitter: @FMPSD and like us on Facebook: Fort McMurray Public School Division. Instagram @FMPSD.

École Dickinsfield School student recycling. Supplied image
École Dickinsfield School student recycling. Supplied image

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