More green space, solar panels, extensive composting, and other environmentally sustainable initiatives could come to schools in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.
The school board will vote on November 15th to approve a resolution committing the district to an environmental sustainability plan that spans several areas such as curriculum, buildings, grounds and waste management.
“(This is) our school district has taken the position that this is important to us,” Superintendent Tricia McManus said recently at a joint meeting of the School Board’s Curriculum and Finance and Building Committees. Told.
The Joint Committee recommended that the draft resolution be sent to the Board as a whole for a vote.
Board member Elizabeth Mossinger was emotional when she spoke of her support for the resolution. A longtime advocate for sustainability, her 16-year tenure on Mossinger’s board comes to an end in a matter of weeks.
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She spoke about the message this resolution sends to community members, including students, who have advocated for sustainability.
“This shows that we believe in our future. We are with you and we intend to work together,” Mossinger said.
The resolution was made through meetings with a local nonprofit, the Piedmont Environmental Alliance, community stakeholders, and district leaders, McManus said.
The goal, she said, is to look at some of the programs already in place at certain schools, such as composting at Speas Elementary School, and see how they can be replicated at other schools. rice field.
“It’s scattered,” she said of the district’s various sustainability efforts, “and we want to go for a more holistic and systematic approach.
This resolution also means the school district is contributing to Forsyth County’s goal of using 100% renewable energy in county operations by 2050.
If passed, the resolution would require school districts to focus on three areas. Compost and waste recycling. Cleaner energy and a lower carbon footprint.
There are several possible areas of action, including exploring opportunities for electric vehicles and solar panels, establishing energy dashboards for each school, expanding composting to five new schools next year, and conducting energy audits for each school. . Furthermore, future buildings will be planned with environmental sustainability at the forefront.
Board member Dana Caudill-Jones said she has concerns about how some of the new initiatives will affect the budget.
“I’m not in favor of putting in something that’s a burden that costs more than what we have,” she said. I have nothing against it.”
McManus said there may be some upfront costs to doing something different.
“But long-term savings are going to be important,” she said.
Jones voted to recommend that the entire school board vote on the resolution, but said he wanted to ensure other energy sources were not slammed.