Heritage Elementary raises the Green Flag
HIGHLANDS RANCH - During a celebration on Thursday, May 8, Heritage Elementary officially received the Green Flag Award from Eco Schools and the National Wildlife Federation.
The Green Flag award is an international award and Heritage is only the 27th school in the entire nation and the third in Douglas County School District to win the award.
“Our Eco-Code is, stewards of the land looking to the past to sustain our future. So we’re looking at best practices of our forefathers and what they did and what we can do to better the world in our little community,” said Heritage Elementary Sustainability and Wellness Coordinator Sue Antonsen.
She added that the students have learned much more than just recycling material and saving energy. Antonsen said the responsibility, commitment and leadership were a big part of the learning process.
“One of the major things I’ve learned is responsibility because you have to be very responsible to be able to take care of our world,” according to Heritage Elementary student Victoria Heydman. She also said, “Leadership is also a big learning point. You have to be able to help other kids and lead them in their learning about sustainability.”
DCSD Sustainability Manager Lee Smit said that the Heritage Elementary is the exemplar for this project and hopes that other schools in the district will look to Heritage in the future for guidance and assistance in achieving their own sustainability goals.
But as with all programs, sustainability must have it’s own sustainability and with the leadership and mentoring from the older students, the up-and-coming leaders have a great example of how it’s done.
“When I walk away from this project I hope that we achieved sustainability at the school and that we have a lot of intelligent kids that know how to be responsible and are able to sustain not only the pillars but the program itself, “ concluded Heritage Elementary student Benicio Archuleta.