It’s been quite the month for Palmetto Elementary School (PES)! PES, which has just under 600 students ages 4 to 12, has had the immense honor of being awarded the Florida “Gold Apple designation” for its in-house environmental achievements, led by the school’s sustainability committee, Palmetto Earth Program. It is only the second school in Miami-Dade County to receive this award, thanks to PES’s inspiring environmental policies.
What’s more, Palmetto Elementary School’s garden club was awarded 352.5 points from 400 of the Fairchild Challenge, an environmental science competition designed to engage students in nature.
And all of this was off the back of a successful Earth Day celebration, featuring and celebrating local Pinecrest sustainability organizations such as Cortada, Earth SOS Miami, Fairchild Tropical Gardens and Rethink Energy Florida.
Palmetto Elementary School is a pioneer in educational environmental policy for its students, teachers, staff and parents.
The school’s environmental policies are to:
- Educate through monthly “eco-lessons,” the school’s garden club and the “green” after-school clubs
- Reduce waste by encouraging students, parents and teachers not to buy new things for the sake of it or to avoid using plastic for parties or celebrations
- Recycle, thanks to its fantastic recycling system in partnership with Lady Green and through field trips to recycling plants so that students can see firsthand what happens to waste
- Reduce energy and water consumption by monitoring the air conditioner temperature, ensuring kitchen staff turn the taps off, among other things
- Reduce pollution by encouraging parents to minimize idling during pickup and encouraging students to bike to school (provided they live nearby)
The Palmetto Earth Program was set up by PES parent and environmental engineer Jaquelina Henriquez and now boasts nearly 30 volunteers, mainly parents from the school but also volunteers from Palmetto High School. The team has many exciting eco-events lined up for the next school year, so this is not the last time you are going to hear about this establishment.
Congratulations to Palmetto Elementary School for this fantastic achievement!