October 13, 2014
More than 700 students from Horseshoe Trails Elementary in Cave Creek taught teachers, public officials and APS a little bit about sustainability on Friday, Oct. 10. The students participated in an event hosted by APS to dedicate the school’s new solar installation and highlight the school’s achievements in sustainability.
Horseshoe Trails’ environmental programs include a trash reduction and recycling program, and an outdoor classroom that provides the students with a hands-on education with lesson topics including soil, plants, cycles, ecology, weather, nutrition, food systems, composting and organic gardening. In addition, the school just worked with APS to install solar panels – which will help power classrooms while providing shaded parking for teachers.
“Through our renewable energy programs, APS has helped more than 300 schools in 70 participating school districts across the state go solar,” said Rex Stepp, APS Renewable Energy Programs Leader. “Horseshoe Trails is an amazing example of what school districts can do to save money and provide life-lessons for their students that will last long after they graduate.”
Through these efforts, Horseshoe Trails was recently recognized as a Green Ribbon School – a national honor that focuses on encouraging schools to provide opportunities for children to develop their full potential by reconnecting children with the wonders of playing and learning in nature.
The 700 students who were on site for today’s celebration provided important energy-saving facts, as they lined up in the school parking lot grade-by-grade. Some of these facts included:
K-12 school districts in the U.S. spend $6 billion annually on energy.
Enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface each minute to satisfy the world’s energy demands for an entire year.
The amount of energy Americans use doubles every 20 years.
“Our students and teachers are working hard to reduce our global “hoof” print,” said Janiene Marlow, Horseshoe Trails principal and Arizona National Distinguished Principal of the Year in 2013. “No matter where you turn in our school, you will be reminded about our commitment to sustainability; from our garden, to our school-wide recycling efforts, to the solar panels in our parking lot – which we were able to install thanks, in large part, to APS.”