Lacombe Composite High School won the 2021 Emerald Awards for “Outstanding Environmental Achievements” in the Education Legacy category for their ECOVISION program at Lacombe Composite High School.
30th Annual Emerald Awards is hosted by the Alberta Emerald Foundation. its home to leaders and innovators, each demonstrating a unique approach to environmental stewardship.
The Emerald Awards showcase those who raise the bar in addressing local, regional, and global environmental & climate sues. In doing so, a standard of excellence is set that inspires others in their own practices.
“The Emerald Awards is an organization in Alberta and it’s like the Oscars for the environment that recognizes outstanding environmental achievement. We won the emerald award this year for our outstanding environmental achievements, in the education Legacy category,” Steve Schultz.
The group won the award in the Education category for “Outstanding Environment Achievements” which means the receipts of the award have been active for ten or more years.
In total ECOVISION has been active for sixteen years now and the program keeps growing and growing. Currently, they have close to 250 students running through the program every year.
ECOVISION is a club that is run at Lacombe Composite High School by a group of students that are passionate leaders for the environment.
Schultzs says It started sixteen years ago when Tyana Rudolphson, who was a student in my class, heard me say that “words without action are meaningless”. And a year later she came to me and said she wanted to take the school off the electrical grid. ECOVISION was born that day.
He says she created the ECOVISION vision statement which is to “grow student leaders that are interested in improving the environment, enhancing their educational opportunities and collaborating with the community,”
Lacombe ECOVISION have accomplished five major projects and ten minor projects such as:
5 time winner of A+ for Energy Award
Caring for the Watershed Contest 2014 1st Place Winners for Aquaponics Food System & 2016 2nd Place Winners for the Lacombe Irrigation Foods Experiment(LIFE)
Emerald Ron Kruhlak Award in 2017 for Bee Wise project
2018 Canadian Green Building Council Greenest School in Canada
2019 teacher won PM’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
2006-2010: 6.0 kW solar system at LCHS and renewable energy curriculum.
2010-2012: 850ft2 geodesic tropical greenhouse with 4 renewable energy systems, growing tropical plants and veggies all year round.
2011: verma and thermal composting systems composting 25 kg of school waste/month.
2012-2013: 2 acre garden with 200 fruit trees, 50 raised vegetable beds, and potato/garlic/squash patches.
2014-2017: commercial aquaponics system in the greenhouse where students raise tilapia fish and veggies for LCHS foods program and student micro-business.
2014-present: indoor gardening with Earthboxes, Urban Cultivator, indoor educational aquaponics system, and a tower garden
2014: outdoor classroom with 10 picnic tables, bat & birdhouses. Initiated a pollinator program with solitary bee hotels and 6 pollinator gardens
2016-present: Beekeeping Technician Green Certificate(GC) program with 8 hives and urban beekeeping program.
2018: (GC)Greenhouse technician program started.
2020-present: Roofs 4 Kids project turned sea container into goat barn with a rooftop garden, 3.8kW solar system, goat technician, and horticulture program
Developing EPICC(Educational Pollinator Indigenous Carbon-Capture) Garden
Presented at many conferences: ASCA, Inside Education’s Navigate/Generate, Wellness, Healthy Active School Symposium, ACEE Environmental Education, and Interactive Conferences
The 30th Annual Emerald Awards took place virtually on June 1st. If you missed it, you can watch it for free on our YouTube channel and read the digital program!