Lo­cal schools hon­ored in county cleanup chal­lenge

Stem­mers Run, Chapel Hill, Vin­cent Farm rec­og­nized

The Avenue News - - News - By NI­COLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

Three lo­cal schools were hon­ored for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the third an­nual Team BCPS (Bal­ti­more County Public Schools) Clean Green 15 Chal­lenge.

Chapel Hill and Vin­cent Farm el­e­men­tary schools and Stem­mers Run Mid­dle School each re­ceived hon­or­able men­tions dur­ing an awards cer­e­mony held at Reis­ter­stown El­e­men­tary School on May 11.

The Clean Green 15 Chal­lenge is an en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pe­ti­tion that tasks BCPS stu­dents, staff and fam­i­lies with par­tic­i­pat­ing in lit­ter cleanup ac­tiv­i­ties. From last fall to this April, par­tic­i­pants con­ducted 406 15-minute cleanups, re­sult­ing in 5,602 vol­un­teers pick­ing up at least 3,100 bags of trash coun­ty­wide.

“Just for a sec­ond, try to imag­ine 3,100 bags of lit­ter,” Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz told stu­dents last week. “Think about how great it is that it got bagged up rather than end­ing up in our stream, rivers and the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay.”

Lo­cally, Chapel Hill and Vin­cent Farm el­e­men­tary schools worked to­gether, re­cruit­ing 15 vol­un­teers who col­lected an im­pres­sive 532 pounds of trash be­tween them.

Stem­mers Run Mid­dle School had 29 vol­un­teers col­lect­ing 174 pounds of lit­ter dur­ing the cam­paign. Each of the schools re­ceived an iPad for their ef­forts. The grand prize in the com­pe­ti­tion went to two schools — Reis­ter­stown El­e­men­tary School (most vol­un­teers) and Grange El­e­men­tary School (most lit­tle col­lected). Each of these schools earned a $3,000 en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion grant from the Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion of Bal­ti­more County Public Schools.

Other win­ners in­cluded Westowne, Bear Creek, Col­gate and Stoneleigh sle­men­tary schools, Ho­labird and Dun­dalk mid­dle schools, Western School of Tech­nol­ogy and En­vi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence and Ca­tonsville and Spar­rows Point high schools.

Next year’s awards will run year-round, with cleanups com­pleted be­tween May 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017, el­i­gi­ble for con­sid­er­a­tion.

“We’re de­lighted to see the en­thu­si­asm for the Clean Green 15 Lit­ter Chal­lenge grow­ing,” Kamenetz said, “with 25 per­cent more clean-ups logged this year than last and 67 per­cent more vol­un­teers recorded.”

BCPS Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Dal­las Dance touted the ed­u­ca­tional ben­e­fits of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“The Clean Green 15 Chal­lenge is a pos­i­tive hands- on way for our stu­dents to en­hance their en­vi­ron­men­tal lit­er­acy and demon­strate their pride in keep­ing their schools neigh­bor­hoods and wa­ter­ways clean and at­trac­tive,” he said.

The Clean Green 15 Chal­lenge is an ef­fort of the County Ex­ec­u­tive’s Of­fice, BCPS, the Bal­ti­more County Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and Sus­tain­abil­ity and the Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion of Bal­ti­more County.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.bcps.org/teamBCPS/cleanGreen15.

COUR­TESY BCPS FLICKR

Chapel Hill El­e­men­tary School earned an iPad for its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Clean Green 15 lit­ter cleanup com­pe­ti­tion.

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