Congratulations to Oak Park Unified School District for being a finalist in the 2010 Golden Bell Awards! The Golden Bell Awards program, now in its 31st year, is presented by the California School Boards Association and promotes excellence in education by recognizing outstanding programs in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. According to Keyla Treitman, the Grades of Green chairperson for Oak Park High School and Co-Chair of the OPUSD EEAC, “Our superintendent Tony Knight is the visionary behind all these achievements.” Way to go Tony!

Oak Park is a model district for environmental education, awareness and accountability. Environmental sustainability is incorporated at every level to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. They use only organic fertilizers, eco-safe pest reduction products and green cleaning and school supplies.

Other significant environmental improvements to their campuses include a Bioswale system, solar panels at Oak Hills Elementary School, and a “cool roof” design that reflects sunlight and provides substantial insulation for school buildings.

Their Environmental Education and Awareness Committee (EEAC) is responsible for incorporating various environmental initiatives on the campuses as well as implementing community events that enhance environmental education. We love the Hydration Station and reusable water bottles for the students. What a great idea!

And the kicker is that many of these initiatives, including using recycled paper, do not increase costs, and in many cases reduce costs. Talk about a win win!

For more information on how Oak Park USD is being a leader in school sustainability, check out the related download. Keep up the great work Oak Park!