Environmental and Climate Education and Action Through EcoSchools Canada

Latest Updates (October 22, 2020):

  • Congratulations to teacher Sara Haney from Renert Schools - lucky winner of our MEC gift card draw.  Thanks for filling out our survey!
  • EcoSchools Canada's new on-line platform is now available for FREE to all Calgary schools (including public, catholic, francophone, charter and independent schools)!  To explore the new EcoSchools Certification Application, start by registering your school.  Once you have registered, you can explore the platform and all its features and resources.  There is no obligation to apply for certification. 
  • EcoSchools offers 40 actions to choose from, along with resources and action guide to support each one. 
  • Hot off the press! K-9 Social Studies and Science curriculum links to sustainability education and action.
  • The City of Calgary is offering regular lunchtime webinars on its climate change program, open to all Calgarians.  
  • To learn more, contact Marie Tremblay at marie@abcee.org.

Our Story

In spring 2019, the Alberta Council for Environmental Education teamed up with the City of Calgary and Calgary's two major school districts to engage Calgary's school community in environmental stewardship and climate action that directly supports the city's newly adopted climate action plan and other environmental strategies.  Our main goals were to create a framework for collective action that fosters a common sense of purpose and civic pride and most importantly, helps students feel hopeful for the future through purposeful action.  

Our journey has since led us to partner with EcoSchools Canada, an award-winning bilingual environmental certification program for schools that strives to nurture environmental leaders, reduce the ecological impact of schools, and build sustainable school communities.  We are excited about building a strong and vibrant EcoSchools community here in Alberta.  In this first-year pilot, we will be focusing our efforts on Calgary but aim to extend our reach to Edmonton and other parts of Alberta in the coming years.   

What is EcoSchools Canada?

EcoSchools Canada is the largest environmental certification program for K-12 schools in Canada, currently reaching one million Canadian students annually.  From individual behaviours to collective impact, EcoSchools' vision is for all members of a school community to be supported with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration to take positive action for the environment and the climate.  EcoSchools Canada supports school communities as they:

  • Build environmental leadership and capacity for students, staff and communities
  • Improve the operational efficiency of school buildings
  • Mitigate climate change through behaviour change
  • Connect to local tools and resources
  • Recognize achievements and excellence through robust reporting and a collective impact framework
  • Support Canada's commitment to achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

EcoSchools Canada Comes to Calgary!

We are very excited to be bringing EcoSchools Canada to Calgary for the 2020-21 school year.   During this pilot year, we aim to: 

  • Engage at least 25 schools, 100 teachers and 3000 students in the Calgary area
  • Create resources for teachers including curriculum links to sustainability education and action, EcoSchools actions, and the City of Calgary's climate action and environmental plans strategies 
  • Offer a variety of on-boarding and support opportunities to schools to help them achieve a minimum of bronze level certification
  • Provide opportunities for schools to network, exchange ideas, and learn from each other 
  • Provide opportunities for student leaders to mentor younger or less experienced students 
  • Create opportunities to better connect teachers and students to the vast array of Alberta-based environmental education resources and program 
  • Conduct a full evaluation of all aspects of the program so we can learn from this Year 1 pilot and make the program even better for future years 
  • Lay the groundwork and raise funds for expanding this program to other Alberta communities in 2021 

Goals 

  • Engage the school community in effective environmental stewardship and climate action that supports real-world action frameworks at multiple scales (local to global) 
  • Advance literacy around environment, energy and climate
  • Foster responsible environmental and global citizenship 

Core Principles

  • Curriculum-linked - Support teachers in incorporating sustainability education and action into their practice while delivering on the curriculum
  • Collaborative - Build on, rather than replace, existing climate education and action programs 
  • Relevant - Link to real-world initiatives like municipal climate action plans, EcoSchools Canada, U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to provide authentic contexts and visions, at multiple scales
  • Student-led - Students create and implement age-appropriate climate action plans with the support of the entire school community including teachers, school administrators, facility managers, and parents 
  • Evidence-based - Success is measured using a range of metrics that track progress on environmental impact (e.g. GHG emissions reductions), student learning (e.g. climate and energy literacy), and climate-friendly behaviours (e.g. turning lights and electronics off when not in use)
  • Flexible - Schools develop their own climate action plans that align with their own opportunities, priorities and interests

Information Sessions for Teachers: Recording Now Available

To learn how your school can become an EcoSchool, click on the image below. 

Make Your School an EcoSchool!

To learn more about how to join EcoSchools' growing community in Calgary, click here

Our Partners and Supporters

We are grateful to our delivery partners, EcoSchools Canada and the City of Calgary, for helping us bring the EcoSchools program to Calgary and making it relevant to our community.  We also thank The Calgary Foundation, Royal Bank of Canada Foundation, Alberta Ecotrust, Energy Efficiency Alberta, and the City of Calgary for their financial support of this program. 

We invite other organizations to support this important work -  please contact our Executive Director Gareth Thomson at: gareth [at] abcee.org to discuss.

                               

 

“There is a clear appetite on the part of Calgary's K-12 school community to be part of the climate solution and this project offers a tangible and coordinated approach that engages the entire school community.” 

- Jodie Walz, Calgary Catholic School District Elementary Science Consultant