Riverside Elementary School Earns NWF Eco-Schools Green Flag Award
Riverside Elementary School has earned the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Eco-Schools USA Green Flag Award, the highest honor given to schools working on environmental stewardship goals by the National Wildlife Federation.
Schools are required to follow a seven-step checklist to qualify for a Green Flag, including forming an Eco-Action team, conducting an environmental audit for three pathways, creating an Eco-Action plan, monitoring, and evaluating progress, providing links to the curriculum, involving the community, and creating an eco-code.
Riverside began its quest in 2016, when the school developed its edible garden, added a composter, and formed an Eco-Action Club, which established a cafeteria recycling program. The Virginia garden was added in 2017. In 2018, the school launched audits for Energy and Consumption and Waste. In 2019, the students adjusted the audits for Energy and Consumption and Waste, and they added an audit for Healthy Living. Students in all grades are involved in the care and maintenance of the gardens; preschoolers and kindergartners water the plants, and first graders care for the birdfeeders.
Students and teachers observed a virtual Earth Week in April when they planted and cared for plants, spent time reading and working outdoors, and created collages and displays made of recycled items.