Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee
February 1, 2012
A meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee was held in the Board Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston,
on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at 6:00~p.m.
P. Murray, Chair
Debbie Villeneuve, School Council Liaison Committee
Becky Corby, School Council Liaison Committee
Tracey McKenzie, County of Lennox & Addington
David Hahn, National Farmers Union, Local 316
Stana Luxford-Oddie, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
Paige Agnew, St. Lawrence College
Zabe MacEachren, Queen’s Faculty of Education
Ruth Noordegraaf, Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation, KFL&A Public Health
Meg Skinner, KFL&A Public Health
Tom Carpenter, SWITCH
D. Fowler, Manager of Facility Services
D. Hendry, Sustainable Initiatives Coordinator
J. Hendry, Energy/Environmental Technician
B. Hunter, Director of Education
S. Lehman, Supervising Principal
M. Sewell, Program Leader, Skills Training & Technology
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Peggy Browne, Principal, Lancaster Drive P.S.
Dan Scott, Custodian, Lancaster Drive P.S.
Jennifer Anderson, Teacher, Bayridge P.S.
Regrets: Tim Amirault, LDSB Student Trustee
Joey Pugh, LDSB Student Trustee
Chair Murray called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting. She advised that Trustee Jackson had indicated that he would be arriving at the meeting late.
Chair Murray thanked Committee members for attending this evening’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee meeting. She said that their efforts and commitment to Environmental Sustainability within their organization are most appreciated, noting that their work on this Committee will assist our school communities in becoming more environmentally sustainable.
Chair Murray stated that since the Committee met in November, the Limestone District School Board has been involved in a number of environmental projects around teaching and learning, student engagement and community connections, and environmental leadership.
Chair Murray reviewed the highlights, noting that the Board’s association with St. Lawrence College Energy Systems Technology Program Energy Technology Program has assisted us with the implementation of school energy audits. She reported that our ambitious students at Lancaster Drive Public School, in conjunction with the City of Kingston, successfully lobbied for a compost program at Lancaster Drive Public School. She advised that Bayridge Secondary School is preparing to host a student conference, called “One Earth, One Chance”, which will take place in April and will involve elementary and secondary school students.
Chair Murray commented that the City of Kingston hosted a Sustainability Forum this past weekend, noting that attendance was significant and the message consistent – partnerships and community involvement. She stated that ESAC is Limestone’s response, and that the Board appreciates the members of ESAC’s involvement.
Chair Murray advised that this evening’s meeting will proceed much the same as the last meeting, noting that we will share our successes, review the draft of the sustainability criteria from last meeting, and spend some time in small groups to obtain feedback on the next steps in this area.
Chair Murray asked members to consider item 8 in the agenda package – Election of the Community Co-Chair, noting that she would review the expectations and responsibilities of the Co-Chair position prior to nominations.
Those present introduced themselves.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY David Hahn, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Approval of the Minutes
MOVED BY Tracey McKenzie, that the minutes of the November 2, 2011 ESAC, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Business Arising From the Minutes
There was no business arising from the minutes.
Lancaster Drive PS Green Bin Pilot Project
Chair Murray introduced Peggy Browne, Principal, and Dan Scott, Head Custodian, Lancaster Drive Public School, and Jennifer Anderson, a former teacher at Lancaster Drive Public School, who is now located at Bayridge Public School, welcoming them to the meeting. She indicated that they would share information about the Green Bin Pilot Project at Lancaster.
Peggy Browne thanked the Committee for inviting Dan Scott, Jennifer Anderson and herself to the meeting. She said that Jennifer Anderson had started Lancaster Drive Public School’s EcoProgram, noting that she now teaches at Bayridge Public School. She said that Catherine Dudley, the EcoSchool leader, and Cindy Koss, Environment Club, have taken over the EcoSchool Program at Lancaster. She advised that Dan Scott, Head Custodian at Lancaster Drive Public School, made this project happen. Ms. Browne advised that there are an environmental team of children at the school who are excited about this pilot project.
Ms. Anderson provided information about how the EcoSchools Program started at Lancaster Drive Public School. She commented on the green bin program, and advised that the students wrote persuasive letters to Director Hunter and the Mayor of the City of Kingston indicting why it is important for the green bin program to be in schools.
Ms. Anderson advised that Director Hunter was invited to an assembly at the school, and that the letters the students had written were presented to her. She said that the letters were then delivered to Mayor Gerretsen’s Office. She said that Manager Fowler, and Messrs. Dan Hendry and Joe Hendry have championed this cause, noting that this project has been very empowering for the children.
Ms. Browne reported that in November 2011, the topic was discussed at City Council and the pilot project was approved. She indicated that in December, staff and students announced to all Lancaster Drive Public School students their letters were responsible for the pilot project. She reported that a representative from the City of Kingston came to an assembly at the school to do a kick-off about the Green Bin Program. She advised that the pilot project is running from January 9 to June 30, 2012. She reported that the City of Kingston will be picking up the organics on a weekly basis, and a report will also be created by the City outlining the program’s success.
Ms. Browne stated that each classroom at the school has been provided with a small collection bin, and the school has been provided with four residential-sized green bins. She explained the routine followed at the school with regard to this project. She said that the students have been educated about acceptable materials, and why we recycle organics.
In response to a question, Manager Fowler stated that hopefully this project will be successful, and the City will offer it to other schools. He indicated that we have to meet will City representatives to see if the project can be expanded into as many of our schools as possible.
In response to a question, Ms. Browne stated that Lancaster has a recycling program, which was started a while ago. Manager Fowler reported that the garbage waste and the recycling are picked up by the same contractor, and then it goes to different agencies; they are not handled by the City. He advised that the Green Bin Program is a new partnership with the City of Kingston.
Director Hunter advised that this is a pilot project is that schools are considered institutional, and the Green Bin Program has not been rolled out to institutions at this time. We are ahead of where the institutional roll-out would be.
Manager Fowler stated that the City is offering this service for free at this time. The school is located in a residential neighbourhood, and stopping at the school to pick up the organics is only an additional stop.
Ms. Browne stated that in City Council Minutes, there is information that the City of Kingston is trying this project for free, and then after the trial period, it will look at costs.
Manager Fowler indicated that costs are being diverted. We are reducing what we pay to landfill sites by having lesser amounts of waste, and hopefully this would offset the costs, if we had to pay for the Green Bin Program.
Mike Sewell reported that the Food Services Program at LCVI is looking at ways to partner with local farmer organizations with regard to food waste.
Chair Murray thanked Principal Browne, Dan Scott and Jennifer Anderson for providing the above-noted information, indicating that their leadership in this area is very much appreciated.
AP 112 (Environmental Education)
Chair Murray welcomed Darren Seymour, Principal at J.G. Simcoe Public School, noting that he was the lead in the development of Administrative Procedure 112 (Environmental Education).
Mr. Seymour advised that the Bondar Report, Shaping Our Schools Shaping Our Future, spoke to the need for an environmental ethos across the curriculum and in our schools. He said that the Minister of Education at that time, Kathleen Wynne, agreed to all 32 of the recommendations in the report, noting that she had indicated that it was up to us to make sure that the implementation of the report would continue as promised, and that our elected representatives remained accountable. Mr. Seymour reported that school boards were to establish procedures that required them to act on environmental education.
Mr. Seymour advised that the Limestone DSB Procedure Committee, LEEP (Limestone Education Environmental Program), was established. He indicated that the Committee followed the following actions:
- canvassed other boards
- established the Board’s internal stakeholders and connected to external support (Michael Faught)
- sought broad representation
- established the timeline
- established parameters (developed procedure vs. implementation)
Mr. Seymour reviewed the definition of the terms the Committee determined to be important, as follows:
- Environmental Education seeks to promote an appreciation and understanding of, and concern for, the environment, and to foster informed, engaged, and responsible environmental citizenship. Effective environmental education incorporates problem solving, hands-on learning, action projects, scientific inquiry, higher order thinking, and cooperative learning, and employees relevant subject matter and topics that actively engage students in the educational process.
- Environmental Literacy is an important outcome of environmental education. An environmentally literate student will have the knowledge and perspectives required to understand public issues and place them in a meaningful environmental context. Thus, environmental education requires a mix of knowledge, vocabulary, key concepts, history, and philosophy.
- Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world an the responsible use of natural resources.
- Education fo Sustainable Development – The role of education for sustainable development (ESD) is to help people develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves and others, now and for the future, and to act upon those decisions.
Mr. Seymour advised that the following groups were represented on the LEEP Committee: parents, teachers, administrators, Facility Services staff, Trustees, Provincial Representation, Outdoor educators, curriculum consultants, ITS/Human Resources/Purchasing staff, Federation representations. He indicated that the Student Trustees were invited to be part of the Committee, but the one Student Trustee who was going to participate had to withdraw from the Committee.
Mr. Seymour commented that the common understanding was that sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Our Common Future, Bruntland Commission).
Mr. Seymour reviewed the three pillars of sustainability, as follows:
- Environmental – related to natural resources, climate change, rural development, urbanization, disaster prevention and mitigation.
- Social (cultural) – related to issues pertaining to human rights, peace and human security, gender equality, cultural diversity and understanding, health, and governance.
- Economic – related to issues pertaining to poverty reduction, corporate responsibility and accountability and re-orienting the market economy.
Mr. Seymour reviewed the perspectives, as follows:
- Human Rights – sustainability is attainable through and supported by peace, justice, and democracy.
- Six Nations Iroquois Confederation – in every deliberation we must consider the impact on the seventh generation.
- Economic – sustainability is living on the interest rather than the principle.
Mr. Seymour reviewed the following information:
- Speaking from the stakeholder perspective while:
- Remaining grounded in shared understandings and varying notions of sustainability
- Conveying a broad sense of the stakeholder area and responsibilities within and beyond the Limestone DSB
- Revealing current practice in the stakeholder area and how progress could be made toward a more sustainable system
- Connecting to the core of what we do – educating student
Building on (baseline) Data
- Ad Hoc Environmental Sustainability Committee – Environmental Practices Survey and Report (2009)
- Gould Lake, Amherst Island Science School, subsidized experiences at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area
- Building Construction Internship Program – Harvesting House and related programming
- Various Environmental Fairs/Eco-challenges
- Eco-Schools certifications and school-base clubs
- School Council Liaison Committee events
- Ongoing facility upgrades including the installation of solar walls/panels (potential for student monitoring)
- School/Community partnerships (GROW Projects)
- External initiatives linked to Limestone DSB (Sustainability Centre)
- Walking school bus initiative
Building to (Goals, Strategies, and Actions [GSA])
Working through the goals, strategies and actions of the Acting Today Shaping Tomorrow (ATST) framework document to address the key area of:
1. Teaching and Learning
2. Student engagement and community connections
3. Environmental leadership
in order to develop goals, strategies and actions which are locally relevant or Limestone DSB specific.
Self-Assessment of Environmental Sustainability
Use of the Ministry Self-Assessment Tool to determine and assess stages of implementation as being at the:
- Pre-implementation stage
- Implementation stage
- Building capacity stage
- Sustaining capacity stage
Results in a formative process which allows for the redefining or reassessment of work being done to achieve goals, strategies and actions.
Beyond the Procedure
- Initially approved in draft form in April 2010
- Suggestions for implementation, including the development of waste management and energy conservation guidelines
- Ongoing development of Environmental Education/Environmental Sustainability vision, initiatives and leadership in the Limestone DSB
Implementation Suggestions That Have Happened Already
- Established an online method of communication for the purpose of sharing environmental sustainability initiatives and learning
- Facilitated sharing of student projects/learning across the Limestone DSB
- Generated resources to support environmental learning/inquiry
- Determined how school leaders could support/guide implementation
- Established Board contact and environmental education initiatives
- Continued and expanded support for experiential learning
- Provided professional development for staff
- Seek partnerships in the community to serve initiatives and inform our processes. In particular and where possible, align with Sustainable Kingston initiatives, as well as those underway or developing at other large public institutions (St. Lawrence College, Queen’s University, etc.)
- Where possible, align with partners to realize efficiencies (Tri-Board Student Transportation Services) for the purposes of conservation and sustainability
- Work with neighbouring school boards to serve students through shared learning opportunities in environmental education
Mr. Seymour stated that as the result of their work, Administrative Procedure 112 (Environmental Education) was developed for the Limestone District School Board.
Chair Murray thanked Mr. Seymour for providing the above-noted information.
Environmental Sustainability Priorities Update
Chair Murray stated that since November, Board staff have been engaged in the development of sustainability criteria. She indicated that Mr. Lehman and Mr. Dan Hendry would share the result of the multi-departmental collaboration and ESAC’s input.
Mr. Lehman indicated that Mr. Hendry would provide information about sustainability priorities and that a framework around some environmental sustainability criteria and some of the actions or goals that could be connected to environmental sustainability. He indicated that Committee members would then work in groups to provide feedback to us. He said that the information is in draft form, noting that one of the things the Board has been charged with in its Strategic Plan is to create environmental sustainability criteria.
Mr. Hendry advised that the following ten priority areas have been identified for Limestone DSB:
2. Climate Change and Energy
3. Environmental Leadership
4. Facility Services
6. Student and Community Engagement
7. Teaching and Learning
Mr. Hendry reviewed the Priority, Indicators/Assessment and Long Term Goals (Greater than 18 Months) information, that was distributed to Committee members.
Following Mr. Hendry’s presentation, Committee members were asked to work in groups to provide feedback on the information distributed.
Trustee Jackson arrived at the meeting.
Mr. Lehman indicated that staff would collect the feedback provided, and if anyone has additional feedback that they would like to provide to use, to please e-mail their comments to Darlene Kirkpatrick at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to February 17th. He said that the information provided will be collated.
Mr. Hendry distributed copies of the Director’s Annual Report, noting that a number of sustainable initiatives is included in it.
Election of Community Co-Chair
Chair Murray reviewed the expectations, role and responsibilities of the Co-Chair position. Since no Committee member nominated a community co-chair, this matter was deferred to the May 2, 2012 meeting of the ESAC.
Trustee Jackson suggested the establishment of a small ESAC partnership working group to consider possible collaborative partnership projects. The group would consider possible environmental or sustainability projects between the school board and local not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and other agencies.
Trustee Jackson indicated that he had attended the recent Public Education Symposium of the Ontario School Boards Association, and one of the workshops he attended was about School Yard Shade Policies to help to reduce sun exposure for children. He suggested that a discussion about this issue be held at a future meeting. A Committee member suggested that a representative from Evergreen (evergreen.ca), a not-for-profit organization, be invited to a future meeting to present on the above-noted matter."
Chair Murray asked Committee members to consider whether they would like a standing item on the agenda, with regard to updates from the agencies they represent.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at the Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, at 6:00~p.m.
MOVED BY Tom Carpenter, that the meeting adjourn at 8:10 p.m.–Carried