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Fennville Goes Green with Environmental Focus

Despite the white that covers the ground in snow and ice of the winter season, things look greener than ever on the campus of Fennville Public Schools.

Students are tending beehives through the winter as part of the hands-on apiary partnership project between Pearl Alternative High School and the Fennville Food Service Department. Students on another project are raising thousands of earthworms in a worm farm, making plans to compost and use the rich soil of that compost in the herb gardens at Fennville Middle and High Schools. Upper elementary students planted pollinator gardens on campus in 2018, looking forward to the return of butterflies and bees in the spring. In fish tanks at Fennville High School, salmon are growing healthy and mature, getting ready for the annual release day into the Kalamazoo River. The district was recently awarded a Department of Environmental grant to provide for the purchase of a new, clean diesel bus, reducing emissions during every bus run for more than fifteen years. And the district recently partnered with Waste Management of West Michigan to increase and improve resources and practices in all campus buildings to reduce, reuse, and recycle products that would once have gone into landfills. Pictured at left is Doug Craddock from Waste Management visiting Fennville Elementary Classrooms to train students and teachers on the new recycling initiative at Fennville Public Schools.

These initiatives are powerful separately, but together they represent what Superintendent Jim Greydanus hopes will be a hallmark of the way the District educates students about the future.

“Our work to make Fennville Public Schools a more environmentally conscious district fulfills our immediate responsibility to make best use of district resources, but it also fulfills our responsibility to prepare students for the future as responsible stewards of the environment,” he said. “It saves the district money to recycle and reduce the amount of material we send to landfills, but more importantly, we’re teaching our students that we have a responsibility to take care of our environment. As a community where agriculture and water resources are so abundant and important to our way of life, Fennville Public Schools should model what it looks like to take care of our natural resources.”