As part of World Green Building Week, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and the Canada Coalition for Green Schools are happy to announce the winners of the annual CaGBC Greenest School in Canada competition: Lacombe Composite High School in Lacombe, AB, and Trinity College School in Port Hope, ON. Through solar arrays, geothermal greenhouses, urban beekeeping and decreasing natural gas consumption, these two schools are exemplary demonstrations of sustainable learning environments.
This year the CaGBC Greenest School jury, comprised of green building industry experts from across the country, were so impressed with the submissions that they were unable to choose just one winner. They determined that both Lacombe and Trinity College stood out from other submissions for their exemplary commitment to sustainability and impressive environmental awareness programs for students and staff. As the 2018 Greenest School in Canada winners, both schools will receive a $1,000 cash award to put toward a new or ongoing sustainability project.
Despite being in a smaller Alberta community, Lacombe High School weaves sustainability throughout the school’s programming in a variety of ways. Highlights include:
- An EcoVision environmental club which over the past 15 years has raised funds for 32 solar arrays totalling six kW, along with a portable solar array and solar cars for the classroom; a 42-foot, energy-efficient geodesic tropical greenhouse with geothermal heat storage; outdoor gardens with 40 raised beds, 125 fruit trees, 10 picnic tables, birdhouses, bat houses and evergreen trees; and an urban beekeeping program with three hives and 20+ Lacombe residents.
- Complete composting of about 25 kg of organic waste from its kitchen per month, using three thermal composite systems and half a dozen vermi-composite systems.
- An Adopt a Garden initiative where the school gets community members to help take care of its gardens over the summer months, and local groups are invited to speak about environmental topics in classes.
“Lacombe Composite High School EcoVision is a club where student leaders plan projects that improve the environment, enhance their educational opportunities and encourage community collaboration,” says Steven Schultz, Teacher at Lacombe Composite HS. “Educational and environmental innovation like what we’ve demonstrated to receive this honour, is impossible without student leaders that are willing to dream, risk and fail – but try again.”
For a closer look at the schools and their many initiatives including detailed case studies, videos and photos, visit the CaGBC’s website here.
“I would like to congratulate Lacombe HS and Trinity College for being named the 2018 Greenest Schools in Canada,” says Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the CaGBC. “Both schools had impressive submissions that set them apart this year, incorporating both physical green building and curriculum changes.
For example, Lacombe’s 32 solar panel array and portable solar for classrooms encourages renewable energy, and their 42-foot energy-efficient greenhouse is used as a learning lab for students in how to grow sustainable, healthy food.
– Submitted by the Canada Coalition for Green Schools