Last February, Earth Task Force (ETF) students and staff, co-wrote a grant application for the National Environmental Education Foundation’s (NEEF) Green Prize Award. The Green Prize is a national contest for schools across the country with a prize of $10,000 to help fund the winning schools’ sustainability efforts. In 2011, over 100 schools from around the country applied. New Vista High School’s Earth Task Force, sponsored by the Cottonwood Institute, won this prestigious award!
On Wednesday September 14th, 2011 Jen Taboula, from NEEF; along with New Vista Principal, Kirk Quitter; Boulder Valley School District Superintendent, Bruce Messinger; Ford Church, Cottonwood Institute Executive Director; and the entire New Vista student body helped ETF celebrate their success with a school-wide assembly. During the assembly, NVHS’s sustainability efforts from curriculum to composting were applauded. Jen Taboula lauded the homegrown sustainability efforts of students and staff. “You aren’t sitting in a LEED certified building,” Taboula stated. “What stood out to me is that what you’re doing (is what) students around the country could be doing, regardless of the resources at their schools.”
Taboula also mentioned that the reason NVHS stood out amongst all of the candidates was because of strong student participation and the possibility of replicating the programming elsewhere. A big part of the programming Taboula referred to comes from the Cottonwood Institute’s Community Adventure Program, and the support that Cottonwood Institute gives the Earth Task Force through funding and resources. Truly the winning of this award is the result of strong community partnerships between Cottonwood Institute and NVHS students and staff.
The ETF has implemented dozens of projects, including the installation of solar panels on the school’s roof, all-school lunches made from local ingredients, and alternative transportation programs. The ETF is extremely proud their efforts have paid off, and are excited to put the prize money to good use. They are hoping to use the money to expand the New Vista gardens, put on more events that engage the school, and make more green improvements to the building, such as planting trees or even a green roof!
Click Here to read the article that appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera.
Click Here for a slideshow of the celebration!
This article was written by Gracie Currier-Tate and edited by Paige Doughty. We also want to acknowledge students Kelly Muller and Seth Blum, along with mentor Paige Doughty and teachers Kate Hartman and Andy Stephens for writing the Green Prize grant – way to go!