By Grey Lee

Special Advisor to the Secretary Donald Yu and U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director Andrea Falken visited U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools in Massachusetts on Tuesday, July 30th to see and discuss the ways school facilities can enhance the conditions for learning.  
A large group of government and state officials, community members, green building professionals, students, teachers, and green school advocates attended tours at Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School and Quincy High School to see how they are incorporating sustainability into the built environment and the educational experience of their school communities. More information about the Green Ribbon Awardees is found below. 

Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School

Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School, a Collaborative for High Performance Schools building constructed with recycled materials and energy-efficient design principles, is home to a 650 gallon rainwater collection tank and over 100 donated plants and trees.  The school achieved a 90 percent reduction in waste through the installation of a state of the art Lucidomatic waste sorting system and the implementation of a printing limits program through PaperCut software.  Manchester Essex, which has reduced its heating per square foot by nearly 58 percent over three years, meets 5 percent of its energy needs through on-site solar panels.  The edible schoolyard is a community-building and educational tool that offers students and parents the opportunity to work with the garden during the summer to raise awareness about local food and organic gardening.
Manchester Essex Regional School Green Scholars and their mentor Eric Magers
At Quincy High School, a career and technical school, the building’s design allows for collaboration among AP biology and environmental science students and their peers who are pursuing Nursing or Applied Medical Technology specialties.  Quincy collaborated with the city’s planning department to participate in the USGBC Center for Green Schools Green Apple Day of Service, which provided real-world instruction about the importance of energy reduction and implemented a National Wildlife Federation Cool Schools Energy Audit.  The school’s STEM wing is home to a greenhouse where students are actively involved in learning how to grow their own food.  Culinary students are responsible for front- and back-of-house service at the wildly popular President’s Café, where student-grown herbs are used in recipes.  The school was certified by the Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performing Schools in 2009 and EPA ENERGY STAR in 2008.  The school has continued its efforts by retro-commissioning the building to ensure that it performs as intended. Quincy High School was designed by USGBC MA Chapter sponsor SMMA.
QHS's 66Kw Solar Array
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