Submitted by Rene Carroll
Gause Elementary is now certified as Silver in the Washington Green School program which works to create greener, healthier school environments. To reach silver distinction, schools had to be certified in two areas of conservation. For Gause, those areas are water and waste reduction.
The Gause Green Team is made up of 4th and 5th graders. Last year’s project was focused on waste reduction, installing milk dispensers to reduce the amount of solid waste from milk cartons. Their latest project was to educate their peers about keeping contamination from going down storm drains.
The Gause Green Team’s recent project was inspired by the new school parking lot, as well as the Steigerwald Floodplain Restoration Project. “We learned about what happens to water, and other things, that go down storm drains and how they could adversely affect wildlife, including salmon,” explained Ellen Lancaster, Green Team Advisor and Gause custodian. “I shared with students some very interesting information on the importance of the Pacific Lamprey, an anadromous parasitic in our waters, and how what seems like just a little bit of contamination in a storm drain can add up to a big impact when you consider how many drains we have.”
Just before the school closures on March 10, the Gause team was able to attend the Student Summit at Clark College and share what they had learned. Participating students were Olive Krysak, Hope Brock, Kyson Zimmerly and Logan Peterson-Prichard. “We presented our project and learned about other areas of environmental concern,” Lancaster said. “Activities included measuring air quality around the college campus and learning about how compost happens by going through compost looking for decomposers.”