Oakland County schools which qualify as Michigan Green Schools within the Rouge River Watershed were honored by the Alliance of Rouge Communities (ARC).
“Thanks to the dedicated effort of the school community, students and their families are learning firsthand the importance of protecting our resources and saving energy,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. “Getting kids involved in learning to be environmentally responsible is an integral part of developing a green and sustainable future.”
ARC, for the third year, gave the selected schools trees a choice of four different varieties of trees to plant on school grounds: sugar maple, eastern redbud, tulip and basswood, as well as boxes containing 30 white pine seedlings. The trees are native to southeast Michigan.
ARC is a voluntary public watershed entity comprised of 35 municipal governments, three counties (Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw), Henry Ford Community College, University of Michigan-Dearborn and four cooperating partners as authorized by the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. ARC encourages watershed-wide cooperation and mutual support to meet water quality permit requirements and to restore beneficial uses of the Rouge River to the area residents.
Now in its sixth year in Oakland County, the Michigan Green Schools Program is open to all public or private K-12 schools. The program challenges schools to initiate energy savings activities and introduce programs to further environmental education. In Oakland County, 183 schools attained Michigan Green School status for the 2011-2012 school year. Applications for the 2012-13 Michigan Green School program are due by March 1, 2013.
The Rouge River Watershed comprises 467 square miles, including parts of Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties, 48 municipalities and 1.5 million people. The river is 127 miles long, has four main branches and many tributaries. Located in southeastern Michigan, the watershed contains the most densely populated and urbanized land area in the state, including major portions of Detroit. The river empties into the Detroit River which connects lakes St. Clair and Erie.
The following Oakland County schools have agreed to participate in the tree planting program:
| School|| School District|
| Pembroke Elementary|| Birmingham|
| Derby Middle School|| Birmingham|
| Greenfield Elementary|| Birmingham|
| Seaholm High School|| Birmingham|
| Berkshire Middle School|| Birmingham|
| Beverly Elementary|| Birmingham|
| Bingham Farms Elementary|| Birmingham|
| Way Elementary|| Bloomfield Hills|
| East Hills Middle School|| Bloomfield Hills|
| Grandview Elementary|| Clarenceville|
| Gill Elementary|| Farmington|
| Country Oaks Elementary|| Huron Valley|
| Parkview Elementary|| Novi|
| PACE Academy|| Private/Other|
| Academy of the Sacred Heart|| Private/Other|
| Lady of Sorrows School|| Private/Other|
| St. Hugo of the Hills|| Private/Other|
| ACE (Alternative Center for Education)|| Rochester|
| Musson Elem Green|| Rochester|
| West Middle School|| Rochester|
| Birney K-8 School|| Southfield|
| Larson Middle School|| Troy|
| Troy High School|| Troy|
| Schroeder (Troy)|| Troy|
| Costello Elementary School|| Troy|
| Leonard Elementary|| Troy|
| Clifford Smart|| Walled Lake|
| Walled Lake Central|| Walled Lake|
| Sarah Banks Middle School|| Walled Lake|
About the Michigan Green School Initiative
The program began in 2005 as a grassroots initiative at Hartland High School in Livingston County. This effort resulted in the 2006 signing of Public Act 146. The local program is coordinated by Oakland County Waste Resource Management. For more information, contact Whitney Calio, environmental program coordinator, at (248) 858-2071. Oakland Schools is a program partner with Oakland County, acting as a liaison with the local school districts and providing fiscal support. For more information on the Michigan Green School program, visit the website here.