For the Reporter
King County is seeking nominations for the Earth Heroes at School program, which recognizes students, teachers, staff, school volunteers, programs and even entire schools that are doing the important work of protecting the environment and teaching others to do the same.
Nominations are due March 1, and winners will be honored at an event this spring. Earth Heroes can be nominated by colleagues, classmates and the public. Self-nominations are also encouraged. Nomination forms are available at kingcounty.gov/earth-heroes.
Nominations can be made in any of the following categories:
• Waste reduction, reuse, or recycling;
• Food waste prevention or food waste collection for composting;
• Household hazardous waste prevention or management;
• Sustainable gardening, landscaping, or building; and
• Climate change education or greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
The Earth Heroes at School program allows King County to express its gratitude for the contributions environmental leaders in our schools make toward a more sustainable future locally and beyond.
By acknowledging their work, the county hopes to inspire others to adopt similar actions to protect the environment.
The program is offered through the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, and awards are given every other year.
Earth Heroes at School honorees in 2016 included:
• James Haney and Vasiliy Mocharnyy, custodians at Camelot Elementary School in Auburn, maintain the school recycling program. Their insights and expertise helped the school earn its green school status. Their commitment to recycling motivated students and teachers to rethink their consumption of resources at school and at home.
• Abdul Malik Ford, a student at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, interviewed school custodians about recycling practices, inventoried the schools garbage and recycling bins, and worked with teachers and the student body to encourage the use of classroom recycling bins.
• Enumclaw Middle School Leadership Students, under the direction of teacher Karl Karkainen, delivered presentations on energy, hazardous waste, agriculture, and recycling to fourth and fifth graders at local elementary schools. When the younger students enter Enumclaw Middle School, they will already be grounded in its sustainability ethic and practices.
• Katherine Stewart, a teacher at Montessori Children’s House in Redmond, leads more than 50 students through the school garden, helping them apply their classroom lessons on plants, food, and the environment. She also leads cooking classes, demonstrating the seed to table journey using the harvest from the garden.