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Currently Recognized BCS Green Schools

greenMany Buncombe County Schools are doing great projects and programs that improve our environment, so we asked them to tell us about it!  Buncombe County Schools has 26 schools that have met or exceeded the BCS Green School criteria or the more difficult NC Green School requirements. Below are pictures and short descriptions of their efforts.

    Green School Awards Winners and Highlights:

    AC REYNOLDS MIDDLE -- BCS Green School
    Grant applications for garden and outdoor classroom project.
    Extensive recycling, reuse, recycled cartridges, trash pick up, battery recycling.
    Weekly Announcements By Students "How We Can Help the Earth".

    AC REYNOLDS HIGH -- BCS Green School 
    Green Team with before school meetings every Thursday.
    Worked with Seth McLamb, Maintenance BCS, to reduce energy consumption at ACRHS.
    Attempted to change cafeteria 'free from disposable utensils', alternate choice was selling reusable sets to students during lunch.
    Team members attended UNCA Organic Growers School.
    Green Team worked with Health Food Club to establish and maintain organic garden (donated produce to Food for Fairview).
    Worked toward composting with Danny's Dumpsters although not actualized, student educational campaign about composting was successful.

    The Treasure Trove of Conservation Cove: A Pirate’s Tale presented information to BES students about the importance of saving energy and natural resources.
    Student-driven Recycling Program.
    Outdoor Learning Space and garden.
    Formation of an Environmental Club. 

    BELL ELEMENTARY -- BCS Green School
    Extensive use of Courtyards as learning environments including Recycle Art display and a Milkweed garden.
    Celebrations book called "Being Green” – collection of Green projects, writings and artwork from the school.
    Entire school (students and teachers) wore green to honor their Green Team visit

    Raised bed gardens in different areas around the school have been developed over the last three years with the support of the NC Garden Project, the Town of Black Mountain and their PTO. The Summer Daycare program waters and harvests the gardens over the summer.
    Creation of an edible landscape by planting an apple orchard on a steep slope. This stops erosion and eliminates mowing and use of fossil fuels. Area college volunteers help with upkeep.
    The PTO is leading the school Green Team. Working with a company called Terracycle they get paid to recycle items such as glue sticks and bottles, transparent tape center rolls, toilet paper plastic bags and plastic lunch kits.

    BC EARLY COLLEGE -- BCS Green School
    Nature trail (cleared area and thinned trees), bluebird houses, butterfly habitat – teaching tool for other younger students from other schools.
    Master Gardeners' grants awarded for gardens.
    Garden with koi pond with solar panel to power pond pump, (Grant from AB Tech Global Institute for Sustainable Technologies).
    Vegetable garden - harvested food is shared with Manna Food Bank.
    Visits to Asheville Greenworks, etc. Fish Hatchery and NC Arboretum.
    Excellent example of community involvement with green projects.

    CANE CREEK MIDDLE -- NC Green School
    • 8th grade 'Creek Week' every fall.
    • Soil and Water Environscape with education about point and non point pollution sources.
    • Student led, active Green Team, along with teacher, administrative and media center support.
    • Recycling paper, plastic, glass, printer/toner cartridges, batteries and paper (40,000 lbs/year).
    • Energy Star Rating 81, worked with Clark Wyatt, Maintenance BCS, and Scott Emory, Head Electrician, $19,000 in energy savings.
    • Improvements include replacing Exit Lights/LED installation, heating HVAC changes, removed 248 in use bulbs from hallway areas, added new weather stripping to doors.

    C.D. OWEN MIDDLE -- NC Green School
    Student led Green Team was aware of energy saving and awareness measures implemented by the 6th grade, 7thgrade, 8th grade and the Science Olympiad program.
    • PV solar array funded by a grant in the school’s main courtyard. The solar panels power 1-2 computers at a time.
    • courtyard gardens, rain barrel, lily pond and weather box which measures rainfall, wind (by anemometer) and barometer.
    • Students collect recycling each day.

    • Student Green Team meets weekly to raise awareness of current environmental topics and manage school-wide recycling program.
    • Awarded $18,000 matching grant from Community Benefit Program of Mission Hospital for the Learning Garden Project On Earth Day, all students watched the documentary film Bag It; in response, students made reusable grocery bags from old t-shirts.
    • Various materials used throughout the building are reused by students for multiple projects.
    • Habitat restoration projects use native plants to attract and protect wildlife.
    • Environmental Literacy is integrated into Science, ELA, and Social Studies curricula.

    ENKA HIGH -- BCS Green School
    • Professional development on technology to move toward a paperless school.
    • A student-initiated energy conservation program with observable results in energy bills promotes efficient light use in the classrooms.
    • A Reduce, Reuse, Recycle culture is evident throughout the school with strong recycling program and innovations to reduce the use of resources such as paper.
    • Faculty include green projects in the curriculum.
    • Two courtyards with native species landscaping and mulch produced on-site from downed trees.

    School garden with compost bin was awarded $1500 grant for improvement including the planting of fruit trees.
    Plastic bottles are being collected to create the structure for a greenhouse.
    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle policy encouraged throughout school.
    School lighting recently replaced with energy-efficient light bulbs; air conditioners and heaters remain off when students are not in school.
    4th and 5th grade AIG classes research environmental issues.

    Ms. Altman, 3rd grade teacher, integrates science and social studies strands on geography to teach a water conservation unit.
    2ndgraders participate in a year-long cooking program with ASAP and Red Stag Grill to learn about locally available and healthy food.
    The Glen Arden Garden is maintained by Mrs. Bassett’s 2nd grade class and is available to all teachers and students for learning, observation, and self-discovery.
    After-school reading club “Eco-readers” focuses on the study of literature concentrating on environmental care.
    Researching possibility of reducing cafeteria waste through composting.

    • weekend work groups - vegetable and extensive flower gardens (native flower garden), maintained by parent volunteers and students; promotes community engagement
    • CERTIFIED MONARCH WAY STATION with milkweed and butterfly chrysalises present on the milkweed.
    • Recycled student art projects displayed in gardens.


    • School wide energy conservation focus (turn off lights signage, team members turning off computers and monitors).
    • Certified Wildlife Habitat (National Wildlife Federation).
    • Art Classes use varied recycled items for art class projects and other needs (set backdrops, etc.).
    • AM News TEAM shares "GO GREEN" tip every morning as well as other "GREEN SCHOOL NEWS".
    • Contest "Walk for Shade" fund raiser to purchase and to plant trees at the school.
    • Partnership and Community Activities include:

    1.       5th grade attending Enka HS "Ag Day" with Earth Day Activities.

    2.       4th and 5th Grade followup to National Geographic Program with "The Human Footprint".

    3.       Community garden plots for every grade level has begun (different vegetables for each).

    4.        Rainforest Guest Speaker, trip to NC Arboretum.

    5.       Park Ranger program on native/non native insects of WNC.

    • Creation Station (materials for reuse collected in bin).
    • Rain barrel, compost bin, beginning garden.
    • Great student participation throughout school.


    • Reusing and recycling are incorporated into many classroom and art projects.
    • Resource use is reduced by turning off lights, adjusting climate controls, and discouraging water and paper towel consumption.
    • Recycling program has expanded over the last few years to include glass, plastic, and aluminum, as well as difficult-to-recycle items such as cell phones, ink cartridges, and drink pouches.
    • Landfill use is reduced by encouraging donations of used shoes and clothing, and book swaps for used books.

    • Great cross-curriculum emphasis – reading, writing, mathematics, science.
    • Peaceful Paradise Garden.
    • GREEN NIGHT celebration for the last 3 years (all 7th grade teachers and students with family and friends. Topics include vermiculture, science fiction inventions, garden, furoshiki, plastic bags math, etc.
    • Kick Off - Earth Day with student viewing of "Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic" Movie.
    • Trash It - Mathematics classroom is exploring the ratio of trash to recycling for our school. Based on the volume of trash cans and recycling bins and the number of containers throughout the school, they estimated how much trash and recycling the school produces in a day.

    • Huge recycling center (serves other schools), rain barrel.
    • Reading Riding Retrofit Grant for alternative energy materials (kill a watt meters, solar cells, wind turbine etc.),
    • trout farming in class.
    • Ecycle program-free recycle program (free pool pass for old tech items) AP students Community Environmental Activities.
    • Purchase Knob Research field trip.
    • Speakers from Great Smoky MNP and from River Keepers.
    • Carbon/ecological footprint activities.


    • 5th graders participate in Environmental Education Field Day at Warren Wilson College.
    • Environment, Grounds, and Garden Committee provides training for teachers on school garden development, outdoor education, grounds improvement and direction on ways to protect our planet.
    • Water conservation is strongly encouraged by PSAs and visual reminders, and two rain barrels collect water to irrigate the school and 4-H garden beds.
    • Student Go Green Club manages school-wide recycling program.
    • Outdoor landscaping emphasizes native species, and an existing wetland area on school grounds has been protected.

    • Entire school emphasis.
    • Kindergarten – rainforest animals.
    • Earth day, soil study, ranger visits, gardens, rain barrel, most students were involved in sharing projects.
    • Media center tech items - recycling.
    • Greenhouse - raised plants and actually prepping soil and planting garden.
    • Great clubs emphasis school-wide to get all students involved.


    • Recycling paper, bottles, ink cartridges, cell phones.
    • Newsletter encouraging donation of recycled materials and 'green school activities'.
    • Gardening Club beginnings for community vegetable and flower garden.
    • Earthday Network connections for collaboration and planning (combining literacy and green school activities).
    • ART classes use recycled materials in many art projects.
    • School wide encouragement for reusable lunch containers and utensils.
    • EarthDay celebration and activities in association with EarthDay Network connection.

    • Outdoor garden with six raised garden beds.
    • The school’s Green Team hosted a booth on “Super Saturday” to educate about the school garden, the nearby community garden, and the basics of living a healthy lifestyle.
    • Volunteers from community partner Home Depot taught lessons about gardening in the classrooms.
    • Buncombe County Schools maintenance workers provide professional development to school staff on ways to reduce energy consumption in the classrooms.
    • Recycling program with cardboard and paper bins in each classroom, and plastic and aluminum bins in each grade level area; this program is being expanded to include ink cartridges, batteries and cell phones.

    • Recycling program for all paper, print cartridges, batteries, bottles, cans, etc.
    • CANIMALS art project with adorable creative animals made from crushed cans.
    • Earth Day Recognition aligned with school wide environmental awareness.
    • Nature Trail with tree and plant identification.
    • Warren Wilson Environmental Program for 2nd and 3rd grade.
    • Garden areas for Kindergarten and First Grade.

    • 2nd grade field trip to Echoview Farms Mill to observe sustainable practices in building design (solar energy, geothermal wells) and efficient manufacturing of materials.
    • Outdoor learning facilities include a greenhouse, outdoor raised garden, and butterfly garden.  The school is an official Monarch Butterfly Waystation, and students participate in Citizen Science projects.
    • Recycling and resource conservation is encouraged throughout the school through signs and reminders about reusable water bottles, turning off lights when not in use, and Bus Ridership Week.
    • School celebrates and participates in activities for Arbor Day, Earth Day, and Global Awareness Day.

    • Kindergarten - Earth Day Bulletin Board Keep Playground Safe and Clean, Earth Day.
    • Kindergarten and 1st rotated around to different teachers for Earth Day activities.
    • PSAs in the morning.
    • Arboretum trip---Creek Crawling.
    • School has had an Energy committee since 2002.
    • Principal's Notebook - Green School information from all the teachers about their activities.

    • Earth Day Poster contest.
    • Blue container recycling school wide, ink cartridge recycling.
    • Courtyard with indigenous plants, water barrel.
    • Birdhouse habitat project.
    • Field trip to Nature Center - Kindergarten and 3rd grades.
    • Sidewalks grant with city should be finished by October. This will allow students to walk or ride bikes to school
    • Green Team at the school for the past two years. 

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, [email protected], 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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