Green Initiatives for a Better Community
Charlottesville City Schools and City of Charlottesville Public Works department work together to reduce the environmental footprint of our school buildings and operations.
- Seven of nine Charlottesville City schools are now certified as ENERGY STARS® by the US Department of Environmental Protection.
- All schools have single-stream recycling systems in place. Students and teachers recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, tin, glass and cardboard in bins placed throughout school buildings.
- Buford Middle School and all elementary schools have schoolyard gardens.
- Charlottesville City Schools celebrated Virginia Farm to School Week in November by featuring locally grown produce on breakfast, lunch, and snack menus. An ongoing partnership with the Local Food Hub will provide resources, assistance, and access to fresh produce from more than 80 local farms.
- Walker Upper Elementary and Buford schools work with Black Bear Composting in running a composting program for scraps from school cafeterias. Black Bear Composting picks up the bags of waste and returns three months later with compost that can be used to augment the school’s landscaping or schoolyard garden. In its initial stages alone, the Walker program converted 8.69 tons of would-be trash into garden gold.
- Charlottesville City Schools received the top award for its category in the 2011 Green Schools Challenge, an initiative of the Virginia Municipal League in partnership with the Virginia School Boards Association that encourages implementation of environmental policies and practices that reduce carbon emissions generated by the local school division and the broader community. The school division was a 2nd place winner in the 2009 Green Schools Challenge.
- School cafeterias have reduced solid waste by eliminating polystyrene foam food containers from daily use. Local produce is served along with daily fruit and vegetable choices.
- All schools have adopted integrated pest management programs. Low toxicity controls are used for insects and other pests whenever possible.
- Charlottesville High School, Venable and Burnley-Moran Elementaries, and Buford Middle School have rainwater catchment systems that capture rainwater to use for the high school athletic field and gardens.