Green & Healthy Schools - Wisconsin
A Green & Healthy School is a voluntary program available to all public and private schools in Wisconsin. This program is administered through a joint partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The goal of Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin is to reduce environmental impact and costs, improve health and wellness, and increase environmental and sustainability literacy.
A team of individuals at McDill collect all of the Green & Healthy initiatives that take place at McDill and place the information into McDill’s online application.
There are nine focus areas in the Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin Program:
- Environmental & Sustainability Education
- Environmental Health
- Health & Wellness
- Recycling & Waste Management
- School Site
Due to McDill's documented achievements in all nine focus areas, McDill was nominated and recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School in the spring of 2020. McDill joins about 30 other schools in Wisconsin who have been recognized as a Green Ribbon School. Congratulations to the whole McDill School community and thank you for the support and contributions.
The Journey to the Green Ribbon
McDill became a Sprout Green & Healthy School in 2015, which means the school was ready to document successes, share information, and learn how to become even more Green & Healthy. There were already many things happening at McDill which were Green & Healthy.
During the 2015/16 school year, McDill showed evidence of success in at least one of the focus areas. This enabled McDill to be recognized as a Seedling School (Growing Stronger).
During the 2016/17 school year, McDill showed evidence of success in at least five of the focus areas. This enabled McDill to be recognized as a Sapling School. This video shows some of the 2016/17 Green & Healthy School initiatives.
In the spring of 2018, McDill was able to show achievements in all nine areas of the Green & Healthy Schools program and was recognized as a Sugar Maple School!
We continued to excel in building a Green & Healthy culture in the 2018/19 school year. Some activities included monthly family nights to engage students and their families in Green & Healthy activities, such as tapping a maple tree on school grounds, learning about the community garden and pollinator gardens, and celebrating Earth Day as a community.
We welcome you to join the Green & Healthy Schools efforts at McDill. It takes the whole school community to embrace Green & Healthy initiatives, including staff, students, and families, and the Green & Healthy School journey will never be over.
The following projects/events need your help (lead person listed after each event):
Green Apple Day of Service event:
This national event that takes place at the end of September engages students and families to improve our school grounds. Projects may involve raking the trails, spreading wood chips, weeding/planting, etc.
Butterfly Gardens: Paul Skawinski, email@example.com
Would you like to help weed our butterfly garden or develop new gardens for pollinators? These spaces make for great learning opportunities.
Courtyard: The central courtyard at our school houses a water feature, picnic tables, and perennials. This space is always in need of care such as weeding, removing invasive species, planting native species, etc.
Forest Management: Sara Windjue, firstname.lastname@example.org
The 5-acre woods on our property is a Jack Pine forest that is thick with trees. Working with the DNR forester, we'd like to make room for other tree species found here (Cherry, Maple, Oak), remove non-native species, and continue to make the woods a better place for learning, recreation, and exercise.
Snapshot Wisconsin Wildlife Cam: Donnetta Kiifner, email@example.com
We do have a wildlife camera in the school forest that captures plenty of wildlife photos. Volunteers are needed to exchange the data card every few months, upload photos to the DNR Snapshot Wisconsin portal, identify wildlife species, and recharge/change camera batteries. This is a great project to do with children as they love to see what animals call the McDill woods home. Also a great project for classrooms if a teacher or group of teachers wants to take this project on.
Candlelight Hike and/or Earth Day Celebration: This annual event brings families together for an evening of fresh air and walking through our woods. Help is needed to plan the event, make the candlelights (if applicable), design a flyer, coordinate volunteers, etc.
Outdoor space including playground and soccer fields:
The McDill Elementary School Outdoor Planning Team (MESOPT) is working on designing, building, and sustaining our outdoor space for recreation, education, and health for McDill Elementary and our surrounding community.
We recycle markers, milk cartons, paper, aluminum,and glass...can we do more? We can with your help!
Health and Wellness: Deanna Munoz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy: Sara Windjue, email@example.com
How can we reduce our energy consumption in school? Can we find a way to utilize renewable energy (solar, wind)?
Grant writing: Do you have a knack for finding money? We'd love your help writing grants to help fund any of these projects!
Student Engagement: Would you like to engage students in activities that build their leadership skills and knowledge in the environmental/sustainability field? Perhaps this is an after-school club or family engagement events. How can we empower students more to take ownership of our surrounding environment?