Rainbow Schools receive EcoSchools certification

EcoSchools Logo

MANITOULIN—Nine Rainbow Schools have achieved Ontario EcoSchools certification, among them Assiginack Public School and Manitoulin Secondary School.

Assiginack Public School, Carl A. Nesbitt Public School, Cyril Varney Public School, Confederation Secondary School, Espanola High School, Manitoulin Secondary School, R.H. Murray Public School, S. Geiger Public School and Walden Public School are all now EcoSchools.

The certification recognizes achievement in six key areas: teamwork and leadership, energy conservation, waste minimization, school ground greening, ecological literacy and environmental stewardship.

“We are proud of the achievements of Rainbow Schools,” said Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “Certification to this standard speaks volumes about the great initiatives undertaken by staff and students to support sustainability throughout the board.”

“We are instilling a culture of conservation in our schools and fostering environmental awareness among the young people who will lead us into the future,” he added.

The entire community at Assiginack Public School works diligently to reduce the use of paper for staff communications and classrooms activities. Students practice vermicomposting and participate in various green initiatives such as reusable water bottle and Earth Day challenges. Kindergarten students created a butterfly and bee garden, as part of a ‘Save the Bees’ campaign. The school now has a community vegetable garden made possible by the Ice Lake Gardens, a Kids Can Grow Grant and the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. Fruit trees were also planted in the schoolyard, which were funded by the Township of Assiginack and an Edible Trees Canada Grant.

The greenhouse at Manitoulin Secondary School has been breathing life all winter long, where Life Skills students grow decorative plants and shrubs. The greenhouse is packed with various vegetables including an avocado tree that was nursed back to health. Stainless recycling bins have been added to the hallways and include three compartments to avoid cross-contamination. Students are actively labeling the bins and the entire school community is doing their part to recycle. The school also held an e-waste event to collect unused electronics from community members.

Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program that helps school communities develop ecological literacy and improve environmental practices to reduce the ecological footprint of schools.

The Ontario EcoSchools program encourages schools to conserve energy, minimize waste and provide students with the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices they need to become environmentally responsible citizens.