Snohomish School District is working hard to grow a better future.
The school district, in part due to its partnerships with our community and organizations such as Snohomish County PUD, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and Washington Green Schools, is proud to be applauded for its resource conservation management (RCM) and sustainability efforts.
“Energy efficiency opportunities help our district make wise investments in our future that will save the district operation costs and keep general fund dollars in our classrooms,” said Ralph Rohwer, Snohomish School District Executive Director of Operations. “Decisions we make are thoughtful, purposeful and consider the impact to student learning and the environment.”
Since the inception of the district's RCM program more than three years ago, checks and incentives to the school district for PUD and PSE projects have totaled more than $275,000 and avoided utility costs have been an additional $250,000. In terms of the three-year savings, the total amounts to:
- PUD – Could power 224 average Snohomish County homes for an entire year.
- PUD – 22% total reduction from the original baseline (electricity).
- PSE – Could heat all 10 of the Snohomish School District elementary schools and the Parkway Campus for an entire year.
- PSE – 29% total reduction from the original baseline (heat).
Several district schools have active student-led green teams which have implemented cafeteria recycling and composting programs and other sustainability initiatives. Other schools have gardens where fresh produce and flowers are grown and enjoyed. For example at Machias Elementary, about 80 pounds of food scraps are collected every day from the school lunchroom – that’s 400 pounds per week! In the 2015-2016 school year, Machias Elementary and Snohomish High School were awarded the Washington Green Schools - Bronze Level Awards for their work with waste and recycling.
Snohomish School District has also been a recipient of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) Energy Grants Program which has helped fund district energy conservation projects such as lighting, heating, control system and water upgrades/retrofits.
“Our students, staff and community are working hard to create greener, healthier school environments,” said Rohwer. “It’s these types of partnerships that will sustain our schools well into the next generation.”