Crozet Elementary Named Green Ribbon School

Crozet Elementary Rain Garden
Crozet Elementary Rain Garden

Crozet Elementary School has been named a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, one of four K-12 schools in Virginia to earn that designation this year.

The purpose of the program is to inspire schools to strive for environmental excellence by demonstrating they have reduced their impact on the environment and on energy costs; improved the health and wellness of schools, students and staff; and furthered environmental education, especially through the incorporation of science, technology, engineering and math skills. Nationwide, Crozet is one of 58 schools and universities to be selected as a Green Ribbon School this year.

Among the highlights of Crozet’s environmental program is an outdoor living science classroom that includes a biofilter converted into a Rain Garden Habitat. The area consists of a weather station, nature trail, butterfly and student gardens, a natural amphitheater and courtyard, and bird feeders. Teachers use these resources to teach students about weather patterns, ecosystems, plants and animals native to Virginia, and they use vegetables from the garden in an after-school program.

The combination of a commercial composting program, mixed waste recovery, and cardboard separation helped the school achieve a recycling rate approximating 36 percent. Crozet has avoided $25,000 in annual utility costs through its energy conservation program, and it is saving $6,000 per year by avoiding landfill disposal expenses.

Crozet Principal Gwedette Crummie will be in Washington, D.C., June 3 to join the representatives of other Green Ribbon Schools across the country in a nationwide celebration. “It’s quite an honor to accept this award on behalf of so many wonderfully talented and dedicated teachers, staff, parents and students,” Crummie said. “It is their energy and creativity that has produced so much excitement around learning.”

Crozet is the second Albemarle County public school to earn Green Ribbon status. Stony Point Elementary School was recognized in 2012.


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