HISD, city of Houston team to make schools greener


Last month Mayor Annise Parker and HISD Superintendent Terry Grier participated in the Greening of America's Schools Summit at the Redford Center in Utah to discuss the importance of greening school districts.

Through the summit, the city and school district decided they'd share information about green practices through the mayor's director of sustainability, create more common gardens for initiatives such as SPARK parks and convene local superintendents for a local green schools summit.

"The City of Houston and HISD both have many resources that can be of use to one another," said Mayor Parker in a prepared statement. "The City of Houston is committed to applying any available resources to help our schools, especially those that can provide our children with a green, sustainable environment."

"We look forward to building on our existing efforts and implementing new sustainability initiatives through this partnership with the City of Houston," said Dr. Grier in a prepared statement. "HISD has many opportunities to showcase how green initiatives can help save energy and costs while providing yet another learning experience for our teachers, students and staff."

The summit was hosted by The Redford Center, which was founded by actor and activist Robert Redford, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability USA. City and school officials from California, Iowa, Utah, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Michigan, South Carolina and North Carolina also participated in the summit.

"This meeting was inspirational, but more than that, I am thrilled that the dialogue that began here at Sundance will result in tangible action steps that these mayors and superintendents will be able to take back to their communities," Redford said in a prepared statement. "Our discussions affirmed that the environment and education are inextricably linked and that in order for school districts and communities to become healthier environments where people can thrive and learn, we all need to work together."

Outcomes from the conference will be compiled in a comprehensive report scheduled to come out in early 2011 and be a valuable resource for school districts and city officials nationwide.

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