Saturday, June 22, 2013

Green Schools Update From Steve Muzzy

I've just returned from the Mid-Year Meeting and Green Schools Symposium where I got to meet and learn from sixty other Green Schools peers from across the country. The timing could not have been better as we begin to ramp up our own Green Schools program. Collectively, we are all focused on the 2nd Annual Green Apple Day of Service, with the goal of registering 2500 service projects globally, doubling the number from last year. The MA Chapter Green Schools Committee has been doing outreach and we have a number of big projects in the works - stay tuned for updates and please contact me if you have an idea for a project. 

Another focus of the Symposium was on expanding the Coalition for Green Schools from its current national formation to multiple statewide coalitions. Later this year, the MA Chapter will pilot a Green Schools Coalition and will work closely with the Center for Green Schools to form and facilitate a diverse group of organizations committed to providing every child in America with a green school. 

Finally the Mid-Year Meeting brought together a number of USGBC communities that until now have been operating in isolation of each other. For one day  Green Schools folks, Emerging ProfessionalsUSGBC Student Groups, and the Community Green program were put together and organized by US regions. This provided an opportunity to connect the dots, network, and identify synergies to support each others goals. For MA, some early discussions have shown an opportunity for the Green Schools and Emerging Professional Committees to work together to coordinate more Student Chapters across the state. Thus providing exposure to potential future emerging professionals as well as tying into existing campus sustainability programs that may be able to support such efforts as Green Apple Day of Service.

I am very impressed with USGBC's efforts to support Chapters and build its networks' capacity to advance its mission. The opportunity to connect with other Green Schoolers to share successes, challenges, and resources is invaluable - and will no doubt help the MA Chapter build a comprehensive and successful Green Schools Program.  

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