Student teams from Oregon Green Schools Association (OGSA) certified schools met on April 9 at the 16th annual OGSA Summit at theEugeneFaithCenter for a full day of learning from school displays, networking, performing arts and hands-on activities.
Elementary and middle school students attended three educational sessions on a wide variety of topics and the Green School Showcase, which featured student presentations from three premier level schools, was extremely popular. Sessions for high school students included an opportunity to meet with University of Oregon students to learn about how high school students can become more involved within their schools and beyond. High school students also enjoyed a tour of the Next Step e-waste recycling operation in Eugene where they got to learn about the challenges and opportunities of recycling electronics. Adults were free to attend any workshop. Two popular sessions, OGSA 101 – Stepping Up Your Program, and the Adult Roundtable, were packed to capacity with teachers, custodians, administrators and others involved with school environmental efforts. Students learned how to make worm bins and do a waste audit, how to use recycled materials to make art and crafts. They took the walk and bike challenge. They learned what students all over the country were doing to alert our elected officials about the effects of climate change.
The Summit worked hard to put on “waste free” meals, and by providing food in bulk, collecting leftovers and milk/juice containers for composting, bringing waste-free lunches and observing a “Pack it in, Pack it out” policy whereby they took home any garbage they had brought with them, only one small bag of compostable garbage was created during the entire event. The “Edu-tainment” portion of the summit included a “trashion” show where students modeled outfits made from recyclables and used materials. The Summit finale was an open mic session whereby students of all ages were invited to come to the front stage and briefly share what they are doing at their school. Approximately 40 students were brave enough to come speak to the entire audience. It was a wonderful closure to a beautiful day and students left feeling engaged and entergized!
THANK YOU to all of our sponsors who made this day possible and to our Summit volunteers, workshop presenters and OGSA supporting partners (listed on the OGSA webpage). A special thanks to the generosity of the following schools’ haulers who provided teacher substitute and mileage sponsorships.