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County Names Local Resident, Teacher and School as 'Earth Heroes'

County Executive Dow Constantine will recognize the efforts of environmental stewards in local schools at an April 14 event on Mercer Island.

A local parent, teacher and school are among those to be recognized by King County for its annual "Earth Heroes at School" awards, recognizing  a commitment to hands-on environmental stewardship.

Local resident , science teacher Jamie Cooke and Island Park Elementary were all recognized for their efforts to promote environmentally-friendly practices and stewardship in local schools.

This year’s award ceremony will be held on Mercer Island on April 14 at the and will include King County Executive Dow Constantine honoring each award winner.

“Winners of the Earth Heroes at School awards are a diverse group who share the common goal of making our world a better place,” said Executive Constantine. “It is an honor to recognize their achievements in environmental education, waste reduction, energy conservation and other positive efforts.”

According to a press release, the local honorees are each recognized for their specific contributions:

  • , : Several new environmental efforts resulted in Island Park Elementary increasing its recycling rate from 30 to 55 percent. These efforts included a lunchroom composting program, using durable rather than disposable trays and utensils, and installing a learning garden. A level one Green School, Island Park has launched an Energy Patrol in its drive to achieve level two. Learn more at http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/greenschools/index.asp.
  • Jamie Cooke, ,: Jamie, a biology teacher, has been featured in Science Magazine and on National Public Radio for creating opportunities for teachers to work directly with scientists to engage students. Jamie is leading the school Green Team in projects, such as an ambitious lunchroom recycling program that will qualify the school as a level one King County Green School.
  • , : Nancy’s leadership and green work ethic are felt throughout the Mercer Island School District. She started the Sustainability Committee at the Jewish Community Center, the Green Team at Lakeridge Elementary School, and the district Green Team. Her work has helped individual schools and the district reduce waste, increase recycling and purchase green products.

Countywide, the press release stated four students, two student groups, five parents, four school programs, seven teachers and five other school employees will be recognized

Their accomplishments include:

  • Increasing recycling and decreasing garbage by collecting lunchroom food scraps for composting
  • Educating students and the community on safer alternatives to toxic products
  • Establishing a no-idle zone in a student drop-off/pick-up area to cut greenhouse gas emissions
  • Restoring habitat by removing invasive species

Many of the winners also participate in the King County Green Schools Program to take specific actions to conserve natural resources and reduce waste.

For more information about the Earth Heroes at School Program, contact Donna Miscolta atdonna.miscolta@kingcounty.gov or 206-296-4477.

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