St. Joseph-Scollard Hall has received special recognition after successfully completing a year-long certification process to become a Gold-Level Ontario EcoSchool. The provincial certification requires schools to develop sustainable projects in six categories: Teamwork and Leadership, Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, School Ground Cleaning, Curriculum and Environmental Stewardship. Successful schools are then awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum status, based on their ability to implement and maintain projects.
Ontario EcoSchools Executive Director, Elanor Waslander says it’s a huge accomplishment to receive Gold-Level status during the first year of certification. Waslander says St. Joseph-Scollard Hall has clearly demonstrated the projects they are undertaking are sustainable, impactful and are generating a greater awareness of environmental issues in their school and community.
Some projects already started include a school survey which found a small change in the recycling containers significantly increased students’ desire to recycle, a biodegradable art display aimed at raising awareness and creating sustainable art alternatives, a neighbourhood cleanup and a greenhouse gardening project.
The S.O.L.E. (S.J.S.H., Outdoor, Leadership, and Environmental Studies) Program took a leadership role in the Ontario EcoSchool application process. Returning students will act as mentors to help maintain and build on current environmental programs during the 2017/2018 school year. Principal Derek Belanger says they’re delighted to have St. Joseph-Scollard Hall receive an Ecoschool certification. Belanger says the greenhouse alone is a great symbol for their school community, illustrating the hard work of their staff and students and their commitment to environmental leadership.