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HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools

The marks are in and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has received an ‘A’ in the area of environmental stewardship from Ontario EcoSchools.

Adopted by the board in 2005, Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program designed to assist school boards in organizing, supporting and coordinating their environmental initiatives and operational practices. The program is integrated with, and builds on, the Ontario academic curriculum, and engages students, staff, school administration and parents in an effort toward responsible stewardship through the development of green teams and green practices.

“At no time in our history has it been so important for young people to be aware of the wonder and fragility of creation,” said Dr. Paul Beaudette, Program Leader for Religion and Family Life.

“Ontario EcoSchools is the best tool we have for doing what Pope Francis recommends in his encyclical Laudato Sì: On Caring for Our Common Home where he says, ‘Ecological education can take place in a variety of settings: at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis and elsewhere. Good educa­tion plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life.’”

The program looks at six different areas where schools can take action. These are: teamwork and leadership, energy conservation, waste minimization, school ground greening, curriculum, and environmental stewardship. A points system is used to award schools for their environmental practices. These points are then converted into levels, resulting in bronze, silver, gold and platinum recognition.

For the 2018 – 2019 school year, eight schools achieved platinum level certification, 29 gold, 13 silver and one bronze.

"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to commend our staff and students for their on-going effort in support of our Catholic School System’s commitment to being good stewards of creation," said Chairperson of the Board Patrick Daly. "Understanding there is always more we (individually and collectively) can do to protect God’s precious gift of creation, this year’s EcoSchool results give witness to the outstanding work of our School communities.”

For Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School, this year’s certification is extra celebratory because not only does it mark the school’s first year as a Platinum EcoSchool (after a decade at the gold level) but as the first secondary school in the HWCDSB to reach the achievement.

“The key initiatives that our school continues to do throughout the years to ensure the school stays green are to focus on our pollinators and learn about local organizations helping the environment in a variety of ways,” said teacher advisor Kathy Zadvorny.

“In addition to planting pollinator gardens, we have adopted beehives and work with local beekeepers. We also raise and release Monarch butterflies.”

This year, to elevate their green status, the school’s Eco Team BRIGHT (Bishop Ryan Innovators for a Greener Hamilton Today) planted over 800 trees in the month of October with various organizations in the Hamilton community, including McMaster University Sustainability, Trees Please, and Environment Hamilton.

“We also taught the students at McMaster and in the community about the ecological and economic importance of bats.”

“Bishop Ryan likes to focus on the impacts that we can make today to ensure a greener future. At the end of each event, we know we have accomplished something positive.”

Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board Ontario EcoSchools 2018 – 2019:

Platinum
Bishop Ryan CSS
St. Anthony Daniel CES
St. Teresa of Calcutta CES
St. Matthew CES
Our Lady of Lourdes CES
St. Kateri Tekakwitha CES
St. Marguerite d'Youville CES
Sts. Peter & Paul CES

Gold
Guardian Angels CES
St. David CES
St. Martin of Tours CES
Corpus Christi CES
St. Ann (Hamilton) CES
St. John the Baptist CES
St. Mary CSS
St. Bernadette CES
Canadian Martyrs CES
Holy Name of Mary CES
Immaculate Heart of Mary CES
Cardinal Newman CSS
St. Jean de Brébeuf CSS
St. Francis Xavier CES
Our Lady of the Assumption CES
St. Patrick CES
St. Joachim CES
Sacred Heart CES
Blessed Sacrament CES
St. Michaels CES
St. Paul CES
Bishop Tonnos CSS
St. Margaret Mary CES
St. Gabriel CES
Holy Name of Jesus CES
Cathedral HS
Our Lady of Peace CES
Our Lady of Mount Carmel CES
St. Luke CES

Silver
St. Thomas More CSS
St. Thomas Catholic CES
St. Thérèse of Lisieux CES
St. John Paul II CES
St. Joseph CES
St. Mark CES
Regina Mundi CES
Immaculate Conception CES
St. Lawrence CES
St. Ann (Ancaster) CES
St. Teresa of Avila CES
St. James the Apostle CES
St. Clare of Assisi

Bronze
St. Vincent de Paul CES





 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools
 HWCDSB schools receive green light from Ontario EcoSchools