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Small Green Tech Academy One of Top 10 Eco-Schools in the Nation

The National Wildlife Federation has named an Austin ISD school with an outdoor classroom, a greenhouse and a chicken coop as one of the top 10 Eco-Schools in the nation.

The National Wildlife Federation ranked schools based on their commitment to environmental education and the school community’s work to making the facility more sustainable and wildlife-friendly.

“Small Green Tech Academy has partnered with the National Wildlife Federation since 2000 and is proud to be recognized as one of the top 10 greenest schools in America,” said Small Middle School Interim Principal Sherry Lepine. “This honor would not be possible without our partnership with NWF, which allows us to use the support of a wide network of professionals committed to helping schools achieve sustainability initiatives.”

Small’s recognition was based on several factors, including:

  • Students at the school created gardens with more than 300 native plants.
  • The campus has composting, recycling, water harvesting and a Japanese garden.
  • Students are raising Nigerian dwarf goats that will eventually produce milk and cheese.
  • The school has a garden-to-café program and provides fresh greens and produce for the salad bar when in season. 

Annually, the top 10 eco-schools saved a combination of about $208,000 in energy, water and waste diverted or saved. If every American school saved at the same rate, the savings would total $2.7 billion nationally.

Last school year, Small also was named the first Green Flag School in Texas for its sustainability efforts. 

"These schools are models of environmental education, with students, parents, teachers and staff taking action to strengthen their science, technology, engineering and math programs by using nature and hands on experiential opportunities,” said Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. “These schools are creating outdoor living laboratories and habitat on their grounds, reducing energy and water use, and improving recycling—all of which provide opportunities for students and save money for school districts.”

Eco-Schools USA, a program of NWF, engages school communities from coast to coast and from cities to rural communities in creating and implementing healthy solutions for sustainable education.

The full list of top 10 Eco-Schools can be found here.