This month, the City of Austin recognized Cunningham Elementary School and Fulmore Middle School for their work implementing sustainability projects on their campuses with help of the city's Bright Green Future Grant.
Sponsored by the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability, Bright Green Future Grants is a competitive program that provides funding for school-based sustainability projects. The grants program was designed to recognize and support innovative projects that will inspire students to become lifelong environmental stewards.
Cunningham Elementary School was recognized for their community organic farm, Partners for Education, Agriculture, and Sustainability. Grant funding allowed the PEAS farm to add an outdoor classroom to better facilitate a hands-on learning experience for participants. The project involved educators, students, parents, and members of the surrounding community, who learned about irrigation and organic farming practices, composting and healthy cooking.
Fulmore Middle School applied their Bright Green Future Grant funding to expand a successful air-conditioning condensate collection project. The students collect condensate in clay olla pots that serve as rain barrels; the condensate becomes a self-sustaining water source for a native Texas habitat on campus that features drought-resistant plants. The project has helped educate Fulmore students about water conservation and responsible landscaping practices during one of the worst droughts in Central Texas history.
The schools were recognized for their sustainability projects at a city council meeting where Mayor Lee Leffingwell presented representatives from the schools with certificates of appreciation for their work.