Green Inititiaves at Westowne Elementary School

We strive to be better stewards of the earth through environmental professional development for teachers, environmental education for students, community partnership, and by implementing green management practices in our building.

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Recycling Program

I just shipped out 64 pounds and 11.8 ounces of crayons to Crazy Crayons and 68 pounds and 15.8 ounces of VHS and cassette tapes to Green Disk for recycling. We collected this and more at our recycling center this year. We paid for this shipping which totaled $219.36 and we paid $27.45 to Green Disk to recycle our e-waste. We make some money on our Terracycling efforts to pay to recycle some items and start other green initiatives at our school. Waste management is important to us!

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Cleaning Up

Mr. Newby and his son Terrance dug out this shopping from the stream bed behind our school during our Green Club clean up. The next day these kids gave up their play to haul it up the hill and around the whole school to the dumpster. Don’t kids just look even cuter cleaning up? They are the sweetest!!!

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Green Club Clean Up

Clean Green 15 is over, but we’re never finished cleaning up our schoolyard. Since it was our last Green Club meeting for this year, we wanted to polish up our school and help the wildlife. We found so many pieces of trash, including a tire and a shopping cart!

We also did some weeding and the PTA helped to save some of our butterfly garden plants before the demolition crew comes. It was bitter sweet to watch the garden that we cared for so long get dismantled, but hopefully we will build a new one next year! 

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Evening Learning at Irvine

This evening, Ms. Johnson is sitting outside by the campfire meeting rehabilitated corpuscular animals.  She is attending the last event of Irvine Nature Center’s Eat, Drink and Learn series of the season.  This really helps her to incorporate outdoor and environmental education into her library and technology lessons.

Irvine has tons of great programs to help teachers to teach Green.  Check some of them out via their website  or join Ms. Johnson for the series for next year.  She already bought her tickets!


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Designing Water Filters

In Green Club this year, we focused on clean water. We studied how contaminants enter the watershed and how they affect people. We also watched videos to learn how the water is cleaned at a waste water treatment plant. This information gave us great ideas for how to build our own water filter to help a village in Nicaragua who has a lack of clean water. We used the engineering design process to build our filters and put them to the test. 

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Clean Green 15 WES Victory!

Thank you to everyone for helping us win first place for Clean Green 15 at the elementary school level!  Miss Getsinger’s fourth grade class publicized the event by making posters that they hung around the school building.  They also made a “Bag Center” where teachers and students could find used plastic bags to gather trash.  Every grade level picked up refuse in our schoolyard for their assigned week.  They also cleaned up a special area for Earth Day.  Special thanks to Mrs. Jang for coordinating that.  Sarah Fondelier and Matthew Riesner coordinated a huge steam clean up in the Herbert Run Area with Pataspco Heritage where we pulled over 3,000 pounds of trash out of the watershed.  China Williams and Crystal Shelley also organized a local clean up in Catonsville where trash from an apartment complex was piling up.  Parents and teachers used social media to get everyone in our community involved and it worked!  Everyone pulled together to help us clean up our neighborhood and win a $2,000 grant to further our mission to help all students at Westowne Elementary become stewards of the Earth.

Clean Green

Here’s a copy of the BCPS article announcing the winners:

Two BCPS elementary schools take $3,000 grand prizes in county’s 2016 Clean Green 15 program

TOWSON, MD – That old saying – the one about “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” – was never more appropriate than at Reisterstown Elementary School at the third Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge award ceremony on May 11.

Reisterstown and Grange elementary schools walked away with dual $3,000 grand prize grants in this year’s Clean Green awards event, the result of both schools excelling in the countywide anti-litter program.

Led by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools Executive Director Debbie Phelps, the ceremony honored Reisterstown for marshalling the most volunteers to help clean up the school and community during the year – 1,350 – while Grange was cited for collecting the most trash – 23,174 pounds since last fall.

“We’re delighted to see the enthusiasm for the Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge growing,” Kamenetz said, “with 25 percent more clean-ups logged this year than last and 67 percent more volunteers recorded.”

Countywide, 28 schools or their community partners conducted 406 clean-ups of 15 minutes or more with 5,602 volunteer helpers.

During this week’s awards ceremony, Reisterstown’s students cheered as their winning clean-up activities were celebrated by County Executive Kamenetz, BCPS Assistant Superintendents Dr. Monique Wheatley-Phillip and Heidi Miller, County Council Chair Vicki Almond, and a variety of dignitaries and sponsors.

First and second places in the challenge took home grants of $2,000 and $1,500 respectively, while another six “honorable mention” schools received iPads. On the elementary school level, Westowne Elementary took first place followed by last year’s grand prize winner, Bear Creek Elementary, in second place. For middle schools, Holabird and Dundalk middle schools took first and second, respectively. And among high schools, Western School of Technology was the first place award winner, followed by Sparrows Point High School.

Schools winning iPads were Colgate, Chapel Hill, Vincent Farm, and Stoneleigh elementary schools, Stemmers Run Middle, and Catonsville High School.

All of the cash grants from the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools will go toward funding school-based instructional projects emphasizing the theme of environmental literacy.

In addition, county officials also pledged to donate a tree for future planting to each school that participated in this year’s Clean Green campaign.

The collaborative program by the Office of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, and BCPS was sponsored by BGE, Maryland Environmental Service, and Tradepoint Atlantic.

The 2017 Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge began May 1, 2016, and will run through April 30, 2017. For more information or to record a clean-up activity, go to To see photographs from the awards ceremony, visit the BCPS Flickr website:

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Mrs. Godleski, Drew’s mom from 4th grade, brings in extra paper that’s only printed on one side from her work, so WES students and teachers can use it for scrap paper. She’s so sweet to save us money and keep less Virginia paper from being made in factories!