This month, Binks Forest Elementary School celebrated its first Earth Day as a “Green School of Excellence.” Binks Forest recently received the designation from the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center’s Green School Recognition Program.
The program has recognized 89 public and private schools in Palm Beach and Martin counties for their efforts in using “green” programs, projects and practices to instill a culture of sustainability on their school campuses.
From the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, the Binks Forest community worked to become a Green School with such initiatives as a butterfly garden and a vegetable garden, planted on campus and tended by the students; students in the Garden Club watering plants with recycled water collected from rain barrels; new procedures to reduce waste and promote recycling, such as designated bins for recycling paper, plastic and even liquid in the cafeteria; a “Green Guru” in each classroom to remind classmates to support the school’s conservation efforts; a “Walk to School Day” to encourage students and faculty to walk, bike or bus to school, if possible, with the goal of increasing the number of walkers throughout the school year; and integrated lessons dealing with environmental topics that encourage students to think about their surroundings and take the necessary steps to keep the environment clean.
Community organizations pitched in to help with the initiatives, including the American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity, the Wellington Garden Club and many other business partners.
At the annual Binks Forest Literacy Night, taking place on Thursday, May 12, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., the “It’s Not Easy Being Green” theme will encompass such activities as craft projects using recycled materials, story times with environmentally themed books and a “Green Fashion Show,” with students wearing their own recycled, yet wearable, creations.
ABOVE: “Green Gurus” help with recycling.