By Matthew Hornung ’16 and Olivia Gieger ’17
Posted May. 7, 2014 Wellesley Townsman
On Tuesday, a contingent from Wellesley Green Schools traveled to the Massachusetts State House to receive an Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award. The contingent included students on the Wellesley High School Green Team along with Wellesley Green Schools’ parent volunteers.
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) annually collaborates with the Secretary’s Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education (SAGEE) and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) to award school groups throughout the Commonwealth for their proactivity in environmental affairs. The awards were first created in 1994 and are awarded to organizations that “voluntarily incorporate environmental education into public or private school curricula,” according to the EEA. The awards are intended to increase or encourage continued environmental education in schools across the state.
This year Wellesley Green Schools was nominated for an Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award by Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham and Officer Evan Rosenberg for the no-idling campaign that they pushed throughout the winter and early spring. The initiative was designed to encourage drivers to turn off their engine while waiting in carlines and parking lots by rewarding those that already did so before the initiative, leading them to set an example for others.
The WHS Green Team also played a big role in the execution of the campaign. Every Friday, students stood outside the high school’s main entrance and asked drivers to turn their cars’ engines off or handed out informational cards on the effects of idling to parents already making the right choice.
“Wellesley Green Schools is honored to have received this designation and award from EEA Secretary Rick Sullivan, but is more enthusiastic that so many organizations both governmental and non-governmental supported this important initiative in Wellesley,” said Phyllis Theermann, Co-Chair of Wellesley Green Schools. “The result is that individuals around town are slowly changing their habits to turn their cars off when they are not driving. They simply needed a reminder about the effects it has on their communities’ health, environment as well as wallets. See the details at WellesleyGreenSchools.com,” Theermann said.