LAUSD Sustainability Initiatives
Facilities Maintenance & Operations Division

Sustainability Coordinator Newsletter
April 2015
The sun shines not on us but in us, the river flows not past, but through us.
 - John Muir -
Dorsey High School's Edible Garden

April is Earth Month!  

 LAUSD's Sustainability Initiatives Unit is launching this Newsletter to provide resources for school-based sustainability advocates who want to help the District foster environmental stewardship and reduce our environmental footprint.   We'd love to hear your thoughts about the type of content you'd like to see here.  If you would like to share resources, ideas, or 'Spotlight' information about your school, please contact us at  

We look forward to hearing from you!

Congratulations Dorsey High School

Dorsey Senior High School has been named Green Achiever by the California Green Ribbon Schools program and nominated by State Superintendent Tom Torlakson to compete in the US. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program. The program honors schools that excel in three Pillars:  Reduce environmental impact and costs; Improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff; and provide environmental education. 

Dorsey HS students helped to establish the garden at Leo Politi Elementary and serve as mentors and role models for the students there.  Students participate in the Los Angeles Audubon Society's standards-based Baldwin Hills Greenhouse internship and Restoration Leadership programs.  Dorsey HS also maintains a native plant garden where culinary arts students can harvest organic fruit and veggies for use in their recipes.  Students have implemented recycling and anti-litter programs, produced films, wrote a graphic novel about turf replacement ("Kill Your Lawn") and hosted a WebTV cooking show called "Cooking Live with Dorsey High".

Nationwide winners will be recognized on Earth Day, April 22, 2015.
In This Issue
Is your school a Green Ribbon School?  Check out last year's application and start now!  Applications will be available in September and are due at the end of December.
LAUSD Becomes a Member of the Green Schools Alliance

LAUSD joins New York's Department of Education and Chicago Public Schools to become a member of the Green Schools Alliance. Uniquely created by schools for schools, the Green Schools Alliance (GSA) is a global Peer-to-Peer Network of Pre-K to grade 12 schools who work together to solve climate and conservation challenges.  GSA offers some great programs, including the Student Climate & Conservation Congress (SC3), a chance for 9-12th grade student leaders to train with world-renown sustainability experts.  One program that GSA spearheads is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's school outreach effort regarding pollinators and monarch butterflies.  Find out how you can help restore monarch habitat.
Earth Day Network Launches Climate Education Week:  April 18 - 25, 2015

In support of Climate Education Week, Earth Day Network has released the Climate Education Week Toolkit, a free, easy-to-use, resource that includes a week's worth of lesson plans, activities, and contests for K-12 students that meet Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core.  Each day covers a different theme related to climate change with two highlighted activities handpicked by Earth Day Network for your use, with the goal of educating and engaging your students on climate change. To access this free resource, please visit Earth Day Network or contact Johanna Bozuwa.
Generation Earth Water Pollution Prevention Workshop
April 11, 2015, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Hands on workshop for middle and high school teachers, administrators and faculty.  Learn how to prevent storm water pollution through the use of rain gardens, rain barrels, litter abatement, and more.  Free resources and ongoing support from a Generation Earth staff member.
Register for the workshop.
La Gran Limpieza - 26th Annual Great Los Angeles River CleanUp
April 11th, 18th, and 25th

The event will include live music performances, gift giveaways, family activities and refreshments. The River Rover mobile visitor and education center will be there each weekend as well.  Have fun and help take care of one of L.A.'s most precious resources.
Land Life Tree Boxes

Land Life boxes are a water-efficient, low cost, biodegradable tool to grow trees without irrigation and learn about water conservation as well!  To find out more, and to obtain your free seedlings, please contact Craig Tranby at Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.
"A Drop in the Bucket" at Vista Hermosa Park

Wildwoods Foundation's free "A Drop in the Bucket" program uses fun and energetic NGSS-aligned, interactive learning and post-program activity guides to help students in grades 4-6 learn about the water cycle, SoCal water resources, and how their behavior impacts water quality and availability.  You can also bring the program to your school via the "Dropmobile"!  Reservations for this free program can be made via Wildwoods' online reservation system or via email at  
PowerSave Schools Program
Empowering Students, Generating Change

PowerSave Schools is a comprehensive, team-based program for K-12 schools that educates students about energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy, water conservation, and green careers, empowering them to take action to reduce energy consumption at their schools.  Space is limited.  For more information contact Vanessa Goh at the Alliance to Save Energy.
PEAK Professional Development for Science Teachers

PEAK is an environmental education program designed to empower students with the knowledge to manage energy use in their homes, schools and communities.  Through hands-on learning, students are inspired to take action to create a more sustainable world and to explore green careers.  Space is limited.  For more information, contact Melanie Peck at The Energy Coalition.
Competitions & Contests

Green Schools' 7th Annual Green Difference Awards - honors environmental excellence, innovation, and stewardship.  Deadline is April 12, 2015.

Be a Backyard Superhero Contest - K-5 students describe how they combat environmental villains for a chance to win $5,000 to spruce up their schools' green space.  Deadline for applications is April 13, 2015. 

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes - honors outstanding young leaders who have made a significant positive difference to people and our environment.  Nomination deadline April 15, 2015.  

Brower Youth Awards - Established by Earth Island Institute to recognize outstanding leadership efforts of young people in the protection of the planet.  Deadline is May 18, 2015.

Zayed Global High School Prize - Now open for submissions through June 22, 2015.  Recognizing that many of the world's best ideas for a more sustainable future originate from youth.

Youth Environmental Grant - Seed grants to support young people in a wide variety of environmental programs.  Applications accepted on a rolling basis.  Apply now!

Captain Planet Foundation EcoTech Grants - up to $2,500 to engage students in inquiry-based STEM projects that address environmental problems in their communities.  Applications accepted on a rolling basis.  

GreenWorks! Service Learning Grants - Grants to Project Learning Tree trained educators for students to implement environmental improvement projects.   

ClimateChangeLive - Climate-related educational webcasts, webinars, electronic field trips and online resources for students and teachers. 

EarthEcho International - Online resources and youth and educator outreach and support using service learning to empower young people to become environmental leaders.

Forest Service Conservation Education - Educator website with extensive resources and links. 

NatureLIVE - distance learning adventures through webcasts, webinars, and online education resources.

EPA Climate Change - Learn the science behind climate change.  Also has an award winning student site.

LAUSD Sustainability Initiatives Unit
Committed to developing and implementing programs that reduce the District's environmental impact, lower utility costs, and foster environmental stewardship among students and staff.
LAUSD Sustainability Initiatives
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 22nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA  90017

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