BOSTON (WWLP) – Students from 19 Massachusetts schools were recognized for outstanding environmental actions as members of the “Green Team,” a statewide environmental education program, including two from western Massachusetts.

The program sponsored by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

Students of any age can participate in the Green Team program, where students collaborate to reduce pollution and protect the environment. More than 26,000 students in 163 classes at 150 schools joined the Green Team program this school year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and that most students were attending classes on a hybrid schedule or were fully remote for at least part of the year.  The efforts led to many flourishing home gardens, and successful organizing and outreach in local communities.

Students took part in a range of activities, including expanding school recycling programs, researching electric vehicles, collecting textiles for donation and recycling, starting compost piles at home and school, using the compost generated to nourish a garden to grow vegetables, making their school driveways “Idle-Free Zones,” increasing energy efficiency in their schools and communities, and reducing their carbon footprint at school and at home.  These activities incorporated classroom disciplines from the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), reading, writing, art, and other non-classroom, interrelated projects.

Participating teachers received a digital Green Team Kit containing classroom posters, lesson plans, recycling tips and access to a library of other resources. In addition, nine schools received recycling equipment from the Green Team to initiate or expand school recycling programs. Three schools received signs reading “Idle-Free Zone” from the Green Team that serve as a visual reminder to drivers to turn off their engines while waiting in the schoolyard.

Participating classes entered into a drawing for prizes, and 19 classes received prizes for their efforts. All the participating schools will receive a link to a remote interactive performance by environmental “edu-tainer” Jack Golden in addition to their tangible prizes, such as gift cards to local garden centers for trees and gardening supplies to further “green” their schools; bookmarks embedded with seeds to plant; and pencils and key chains made from recycled materials.

To learn more or to participate in the 2021-2022 school year, the 20th year for the Green Team, teachers may sign up online here

The following are Green Team prize winners:

School NameCommunityTeacherGradePrize
Abington Middle SchoolAbingtonLauren Peruzzi7Seed Bookmarks
Andover High SchoolAndoverMelanie Cutler9-12Key chains
Stratton Elementary SchoolArlingtonKatherine WhangK-5Seed Bookmarks
Blackstone Elementary SchoolBostonNicolette McMasterK-5Garden Supplies
Blackstone Elementary SchoolBostonJulia Perlowski2-5Garden Supplies
Mount Alvernia AcademyChestnut HillMaria LyonsPre-6Seed Bookmarks
Brookside Elementary SchoolDracutDenise Porcello3Seed Bookmarks
Marigold Montessori SchoolHaverhillLinda MalbonPre-SchoolSeeded Bookmarks
East Elementary SchoolHinghamBeverley VernonPreK-5Garden Supplies
Maurice A. Donahue Elementary SchoolHolyokeChristine Burns3-4Seed Bookmarks
Memorial Middle SchoolHullHeather Weber6-8Seed Bookmarks
St. Patrick SchoolLowellMarjorie O’Donnell1Recycling Pencils
St. Mary’s High SchoolLynnStacy Drector6-12Seed bookmarks
Mason-Rice Elementary SchoolNewton CentreWendy SheuK-5Seed bookmarks
Pioneer Valley Regional SchoolNorthfieldNikki Pullen9Garden Supplies
Norwood Montessori SchoolNorwoodTamiko PorterPreK-12Seed Bookmarks
Captain Samuel Brown SchoolPeabodyDiane Bugler5Seed Bookmarks
George R. Martin Elementary SchoolSeekonkCorinne Carvalho5Recycling Pencils
Dr. Arthur F. Sullivan Middle SchoolWorcesterJill Thibodeau6-8Seed Bookmarks