Orange Brook Elementary School has been named one of six schools in Florida to earn the Green Apple designation through the Florida Green School Designation Program. The recognition identifies Orange Brook Elementary as an environmental leader in Florida’s educational industry, and its commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources.
As part of the program and award, Orange Brook Elementary students and staff now also have access to best management practices, technical assistance and green resources that can help teach students how to lower power, water and waste bills and help reduce operational costs in many areas.
The program’s environmental guidelines allow Orange Brook Elementary to evaluate operations, set goals and take specific actions to continuously improve environmental performance. As a result, the school will create a healthier environment for students, employees and communities by reducing water, energy use, waste and also reduces operating costs.
To become designated, Orange Brook Elementary conducted a thorough property assessment and implemented environmental practices in five areas of sustainable operations, including:
- Communication and Education (students, staff and community)
- Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
- Water Conservation
- Energy Efficiency
- Air Quality
Launched in 2016, the Florida Green School Designation Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that designates and recognizes K-12 schools that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. For more information, visit floridadep.gov/osi/green-school-designation.
Monika Moorman, a fifth-grade teacher at the school is proud of the work her class and all the students at the school have been doing during this school year. She has led an effort to develop a garden that most the students have worked in. They have received hands-on education and learned about plants and animals.
Orange Brook received the award because of improvements in environmental education, health and wellness and the garden that is continually being improved.
“We are growing okra, cauliflower, tomatoes, onions, cabbage and peppers. We also have a butterfly garden,” said Moorman. The garden was planted in four beds. She is very enthusiastic about the work that students have been doing in the garden. Moorman and teacher’s aide Monica Williamson painted a mural next to the garden.
The students in Moorman’s class really love working in the garden. Mykalah Ferguson, Jayla Rodriguez and Loijah McKoy all said they’re having fun learning about plants and recycling and that they’re excited about their newest project, solar energy — Ms. Moorman has had the students use solar power to make s’mores. Going forward, the school will install a hydroponics system to show students different ways of growing plants. It will be powered by a solar panel.
At the same time, the students are learning about physical fitness. The school has begun a basketball program and jump rope club.
Congratulations to Orange Brook Elementary!