Michigan Green School
ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE GREENING OF OUR CAMPUS
St. Michael School achieved Michigan Green School status for the first time in 2011 through the Michigan Green Schools Foundation. By completing over 20 green projects, our school has a ranking as an Evergreen Green School. The projects identified that led to the Michigan Green School designation were selected by our student service club, "Green Team".
St. Michael School created the Green Team in 2009 in response to students wanting to make a difference in their world. This club is open to all students in grades 4 – 8 interested in engaging in real-life problem solving as we strive to make our school a more eco-friendly, energy-efficient, and attractive campus. Through education, members of the group empower themselves to implement solutions to current local and global environmental issues. We are proud to say our Green Team has over 40 actively involved members.
Thanks to the Michigan Green School Program, we selected projects to focus our energy on specific goals we felt we could accomplish during the 2018-2019 school year. We are very pleased with the number of students, faculty, administration, and parents involved as we continue to improve awareness through education. We are also extremely thankful that the Michigan Green School application gave us a way to create specific goals to achieve with our Green Team members.
Some of our Accomplishments:
- In September of 2016, St. Michael broke ground on a 52’ X 30’ Native Garden Project outside the front entrance to our gymnasium. Green Team members removed sod and prepared soil. Each class helped plant and water the young specimens. Classes were given a fact sheet on the specimen(s) they planted. They also discussed the benefits of native gardening such as the need for less water and fertilizer as well as providing food and shelter for native insects, birds, and animals. We were able to purchase more than 80 native plants. Since then, we have installed a Little Free Library, a rain gauge, bench, permanent garden sign, a birdbath and feeder, and 4 birdhouses (that were constructed by members).
- In October 2015, the Green Team purchased a bottle refilling station that was installed outside the gymnasium. The filling station is filtered and gives a readout of the number of bottles saved by using the refilling station. We are happy to report that in 2017, thanks to a generous donation from Girl Scout Troop 72786, a second bottle refilling station was installed on the second floor of the school.
- We are proud to announce that St. Michael participated in a contest sponsored by Keep America Beautiful called the Recycle Bowl. We finished in first place in Michigan for the second year in a row by keeping 12,041 pounds of material out of a landfill for a one-month period.
- St. Michael students vote in April to adopt an endangered species. Pictures and information about the animals are posted in a main traffic area. We also hosted a Remembrance Day for Lost Species on November 30.
- St. Michael the Archangel is committed to reducing our use of energy and has replaced the lighting with LEDs throughout the parish and school facilities.
- The Green Team hosts a variety of environmental speakers and programs such as Walk/Bike to School Day, Peace, Love, and Planet, and THINK! ENERGY - TAKE ACTION!
- Green Team members attend field trips to broaden their knowledge and experience base. We have toured a single-stream materials recovery facility (MFR) located in New Boston, Michigan and a landfill in Canton. We have studied wetlands at the Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit as well as a Mattaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor. In May we take part in the annual Rouge Rescue.
- A group of Green Team members, called the Video Brigade, meet to plan, practice, and record public service announcements about environmental issues, informational videos about recycling in our school, and general videos about ways to be “green”. This group decides what issues they want to address, write a script, then videotape and edit their own work. When the videos are finished, they are played for the entire school as well at open houses, and other after-school activities. Some of the videos are posted on our St. Michael Facebook page or at the link below.
- Recycling programs are in place for paper and tagboard, plastics 1-7, pizza boxes and cardboard, aluminum cans and foil, and household batteries. Holiday lights are collected for recycling during November and December. Eyeglasses are collected for the Lions Club.
- Students at St. Michael upcycle items to increase the length of their usefulness. Plastic coffee cream bottles are refashioned into snowmen, filled with goodies, and donated to a local food pantry. Clementine boxes are transformed into Easter baskets for needy children.