BALTIMORE COUNTY — Some 5,000 students and community volunteers have made Baltimore County a cleaner and greener place by participating in this year’s Team Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge.
County Executive Johnny Olszewski, BCPS Superintendent Verletta White and Debbie Phelps, executive director of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, recently announced that 17 county public schools were winners in this program, which resulted in 242 litter clean-ups that collected 2,400 bags of trash around the county this school year.
At an awards ceremony at Chesapeake Terrace Elementary School in Edgemere, County Executive Olszewski encouraged the audience of students and faculty to think about where litter ends up. “The wind and rain washes litter into the storm drains, which lead to our streams and eventually to the Chesapeake Bay,” he said. “Litter not only looks bad in our neighborhoods, it also pollutes our waterways — and that’s harmful to wildlife, fishermen, boaters and our environment.”
“The Clean Green 15 Challenge is a hands-on, simple way for our students to protect the environment as they express pride in their schools and their communities,” said BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White.
Clean Green 15 Results
The 2018 to 2019 school year program resulted in 242 clean-ups conducted by 4,955 volunteers who picked up 2,394 bags of litter and debris. The number of participating BCPS schools nearly doubled this year to include 37 schools. In addition to litter, Clean Green 15 volunteers collected many tons of bulk trash items from parks, streambanks, schoolyards and other locations around Baltimore County for a total estimated weight of 31,837 pounds. Clean-ups were conducted by school groups as well as community-based volunteers.
Through this program, BCPS schools and their community supporters conducted quick 15-minute litter clean-ups, competing from last May through this April to see which school communities could log the most clean-ups. The program is open to any group, including school-based groups, places of worship, youth groups, civic or community groups, scout troops, sport teams, businesses or other organizations that wish to help clean up their community. Groups are asked to report their clean-ups on the BCPS website and designate a school to receive credit.
Winning Schools for Year 2018 to 2019
As a result of this year’s Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge, the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools awarded grants to 11 top winning schools to fund school-based instructional projects emphasizing the theme of environmental literacy. Examples could include installing a reading or rain garden, planting trees, diverting downspouts or environmental education projects. Six schools won Honorable Mention awards and received a Samsung Galaxy device.
Grand Prize: $3,000 grant — Reisterstown Elementary School
High Schools First Prize: $2,000 grant — Dulaney High School
High Schools Second Prize: $1,500 grant — Western School of Technology and Environmental Science
High Schools Third Prize: $1,000 grant — Hereford High School
Middle Schools First Prize: $2,000 grant — General John Stricker Middle School
Middle Schools Second Prize: $1,500 grant — Ridgely Middle School
Middle Schools Third Prize: $1,000 grant — Loch Raven Academy
Elementary Schools First Prize: $2,000 grant — Chesapeake Terrace Elementary School
Elementary Schools Second Prize: $1,500 grant — Bear Creek Elementary School
Elementary Schools Third Prize: $1,000 grant — Grange Elementary School
Special School Prize: $1,500 grant — Battle Monument School
Honorable Mention: Charlesmont Elementary School, Fullerton Elementary School, Lansdowne Elementary School, Milbrook Elementary School, Perry Hall Middle School and Pleasant Plains Elementary School.