Press Release

Press Release  State Environmental Officials Announce Student and School Recipients of Green Team Awards

MassDEP Recognizes Young Environmental Stewardship Educational Activities
For immediate release:
5/24/2023
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Media Contact for State Environmental Officials Announce Student and School Recipients of Green Team Awards

Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs

BOSTON State environmental officials today recognized students from 48 schools across Massachusetts for outstanding environmental actions as members of the Green Team, a statewide environmental education program sponsored by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

“The Healey-Driscoll Administration is implementing ambitious climate and environmental goals to help build a more sustainable future for the next generation. It is never too early to join with our students and educators to teach sustainability on our way to a healthier Massachusetts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “I congratulate all of the Green Team teachers and students. They showed outstanding leadership and initiative during the past school year to raise environmental awareness and promote waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting in their schools, homes, and communities.”

Students of any age can participate in the Green Team program, an initiative composed of students that share the goals of reducing pollution and protecting the environment, with a focus on recycling, composting, and sustainability. 277 classes registered for the Green Team this school year, comprised of almost 60,000 students at 243 schools.

“Our administration is committed to reducing waste disposal by 30 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050, and one way to meet those goals is to partner with our schools to show that small acts by students can produce amazing results for our communities and our environment,” said MassDEP Commissioner Bonnie Heiple. “These Green Team students exemplify what it means to be active and engaged residents by demonstrating to their fellow classmates, friends, and families that fun, easy, and practical activities can conserve water and energy, reduce waste, preserve natural resources, and protect the climate.” 

Students took part in a range of activities, including:

  • Expanding school recycling programs,
  • Collecting textiles for donation and recycling,
  • Starting a compost pile using organic waste from the school cafeteria and using the compost it generates to nourish a garden to grow vegetables,
  • Rescuing unused or unwanted food and distributing to local food banks,
  • Planting trees and native wildflowers to attract pollinators and songbirds,
  • Repurposing and reusing materials to make “new” items,
  • Promoting water conservation,
  • Making their school driveways “Idle-Free Zones,”
  • Increasing energy efficiency in their schools and communities, and
  • Reducing their carbon footprint at school and at home. 

These activities incorporated classroom disciplines from the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as reading, writing, art, and other non-classroom, interrelated projects.

Participating teachers received either a digital or hard-copy Green Team Kit containing classroom posters, lesson plans, recycling tips and access to a library of other resources. In addition, 30 schools received recycling and/or composting equipment from the Green Team to initiate or expand school recycling programs, and 15 schools received signs reading “Idle-Free Zone” from the Green Team that serve as a visual reminder to drivers to turn off their engines while waiting in the schoolyard.

Participating classes entered in a drawing for prizes, and 48 classes received prizes for their efforts. Three schools won grand prizes for going above and beyond in their efforts to promote sustainability and responsible citizenship in their communities and will be treated to a pizza party to celebrate their hard work and dedication. These include:

  • Amesbury Elementary School has been participating in the Green Team for several years. This year, third-grade volunteers implemented daily food rescue in the cafeteria. With the student council tracking data, they determined that they were saving up to 50 pounds of food daily, which they then distributed to a local food pantry. Not only does this program significantly reduce the school’s solid waste, but it provides healthy food to people in need and can inform future menu choices in the cafeteria.
  • East Elementary School in Hingham implemented a school-wide recycling program, enforced their idle-reduction policies, and focused much of their efforts on additional composting initiatives to reduce solid waste. They also promoted a “walk- or bike-to-school day” to show students how they can reduce their carbon footprint by walking or biking safely in their neighborhoods. Even students that live far away, were able to meet at a nearby library with their bike and still ride to school and take part in the event, which enhanced the excitement and camaraderie around the day.
  • HEC Academy in Northampton participated in the Green Team for the first time this year and utilized their new compost bin to improve the health of their school garden and reduce the use of other soil amending products. Students also volunteered monthly at the Village Closet in Huntington to collect and redistribute used clothing and textiles. This activity has supported economically fragile families while diverting hundreds of pounds of clothing from solid waste.

All other classes received prizes for their participating students, including reusable snack bags, straws, and utensils; certificates for garden supplies; or paper bookmarks with seeds embedded for planting. The following is the full list of Green Team prize winners for 2022-2023:

School Name

Community

Teacher

Grade

Amesbury Elementary School

Amesbury

Bruce McBrien

K-5

Annie L. Sargent Elementary School

North Andover

Julie Ambrose

5

Atkinson Elementary School

North Andover

Mandi Imasogie

3-5

Bartlett Community Partnership School

Lowell

JoAnne Downing

PreK-8

Blackstone Elementary School

Boston

Donald Lucente

5-6

Brookside Elementary School

Dracut

Denise Porcello

K,3

Centerville Elementary School

Beverly

Ruth Furlong

4

Cohasset High School

Cohasset

Peter Afanasiw

9-12

Cove Elementary School

Beverly

Jennifer Gilligan

4

Dale Street School

Medfield

Bethany Sager

4-5

Donald McKay K-8 School

Boston

Heather O’Brien

5

East Elementary School

Hingham

Callie Shanahan

PreK-5

Federal Street School

Greenfield

Miriam Robinson

K-4

Francis T. Bresnahan Elementary School

Newburyport

Katara Harding

1

Franklin Elementary School

North Andover

Rochelle Hardenstine

1-5

Franklin Elementary School

North Andover

Hilary Alden

1-5

School Name

Community

Teacher

Grade

Furnace Brook Middle School

Marshfield

Chris Casavant

6-8

Gibbs School

Arlington

Rachel Oliveri

6

HEC Academy

Northampton

Amy Stamm

9-12

Hoosac Valley Middle and High School

Cheshire

Lindsay McGinnis

8-12

Jewish Community Day School

Watertown

Naomi Greenfield

K-8

John D. OBryant School of Math & Science

Roxbury

Nicolette Pocius

7-12

Kittredge Elementary School

North Andover

Cheryl Means

4-5

Lawrence Family Development Charter School

Lawrence

George Masterson

8

Lincoln Elementary School

Winchester

Rachel Chidsey

3-5

Lynch Elementary School

Winchester

Naomi Magnoni

5

Mount Alvernia Academy

Chestnut Hill

Maria Lyons

PreK-6

Newton Elementary School

Greenfield

Miriam Robinson

K-4

North Andover Middle School

North Andover

Erien Gordon

6-8

North Beverly Elementary School

Beverly

Becky Young

4

Northfield Elementary School

Northfield

Ashley Fogle

K-1

Norwood Montessori School

Norwood

Tamiko Porter

PreK-12

Ottoson Middle School

Arlington

Rachel Oliveri

7-8

Paul P. Gates, M.D. Elementary School

Acton

Becky Acheson

5-6

Plymouth River Elementary School

Hingham

Melissa Smith

4-5

Pvt. Albert E. Thomson Elementary School

North Andover

Lucy Frey

1-5

 

 

 

 

School Name

Community

Teacher

Grade

Rainbow Workshop and Learning Center

Assonet

Elizabeth Lawton

PreK-K

Robert Frost Middle School

Lawrence

Paul Flanigan

5-8

Roberta G. Doering School

Agawam

Tammy Rumplik

5-6

Sandwich STEM Academy

East Sandwich

Amy Ferreira

7-12

St. Mary's High School

Lynn

Stacy Drector

6-12

St. Patrick School

Lowell

Marjorie O'Donnell

5

Tucker Elementary School

Milton

Veronique Vendette

3-5

Vinson-Owen Elementary School

Winchester

Ann Liberman

3-5

William Diamond Middle School

Lexington

Christine Goulet

6-8

William L. Foster Elementary School

Hingham

Christin Eigenmann

K-5

Wilmington High School

Wilmington

Terresa Pietro

9-12

Youth Center Inc.

Cheshire

Monica Carpenter

PreK-9

To learn more or to participate in the 2023-2024 school year, teachers may sign up online here

MassDEP’s mission is to protect and enhance the Commonwealth’s natural resources – air, water and land – to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all people, and to ensure a clean and safe environment for future generations. In carrying out this mission, MassDEP commits to address and advance environmental justice and equity for all people of the Commonwealth; to provide meaningful, inclusive opportunities for people to participate in agency decisions that affect their lives; and to ensure a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve.

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Media Contact for State Environmental Officials Announce Student and School Recipients of Green Team Awards

  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

    MassDEP's mission is to protect and enhance the Commonwealth's natural resources - air, water, and land - to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of all people, and to ensure a clean and safe environment for future generations. In carrying out this mission MassDEP commits to address and advance environmental justice and equity for all people of the Commonwealth, provide meaningful, inclusive opportunities for people to participate in agency decisions that affect their lives; and ensure a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve.​
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