Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
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April 19, 2012     The Adams County Record
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April 19, 2012
 

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The Adams County Record Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Page 13 by Dale Fisk April 22 is Earth Day. To some folks, Earth Day is probably something they associate with crazy environmentalists. ~he word "environment" takes on a distorted meaning to them. Everybody cares about the air they breathe, the food they eat, the dangers they face from day to day, and more. These are the things that make our environment. Somehow the word for people who care about their environment-- "environmentalist"--got politicized and given a negative spin. In honor of Earth Day, rm featuring the following article, written in 2011 by Brandi Burns. Part of this article was in the Record last year. A Garden of Green Ideas Grow in Council BY BRANDI BURNS The elementary and high school students of Council, Idaho are perhaps the luckiest kids of the state. How can this be since they are in one of Idaho's rural school districts that have a very small tax base? Well, contrary to a belief that rural equals backwards, the Council schools have one of the most innovative school green programs in the state, and perhaps the region. The students, faculty, and administrators are participating in a revolutionary recycling program, heating and cooling their buildings with a biomass system, generating income from a state-of-the-art greenhouse, and supporting part of their lunch program as well as the greater community with a prolific community garden. They accomplish all of this with a few strategic grants and dedicated students, staff, and community members. After 10 years of experimenting with their recycling program, they have found that what works best is to teach the same recycling procedures in the elementary and in the high school, and to have teachers explain the program to the students each year. They utilize a color-coded system with corresponding recycling containers. Through the program the school has been able to get rid of dumpsters, saving the district about $2,000 annually in trash fees. Not only has this had an effect on the school, but also on the children's families: they have even started to recycle at home. What makes recycling in Council all the more special is the fact that it is school policy, ensuring its continuation for years to come. Council's school lunch program plays an integral part in the recycling program as well. Their cook is following in the footsteps of historic school cooks; she has reverted back to cooking from scratch. She uses produce from the community garden that is on the grounds; she no longer purchases processed meats; and did away with individual milk cartons, replacing them with a stainless steel milk dispenser complete with cups that get washed instead of thrown out. Prior, kids wouldn't finish their milk, now they are going back for a second serving. With all of these improvements they have still been able to keep the price for each child at under $2. The other aspect of Council's program is the community garden, which is in its third year, and looking great. Last year they harvested 4300 pounds of food. This year everything has ripened late, so the final count for this year is not known yet. Food goes to the lunch program, the food bank, and is sold to the community. They have a great farm stand next to the garden, and the produce sold to the community is on a donation basis. Overall, Council has a balanced, sustainable program that can serve as a model for other school districts and the colleges and universities in the state. Inside the school's state of the art greenhouse. Textile Program Donates by Shawn Stanford i;il i ~a i. Shawn Stanford and Fran Ogden with the donated quilt. In keeping with the spirit of community involvement, the Council Textile Program donated a quilt that was auctioned off on April 14 at the 2nd Annual Fireman's Ball The money raised will be used to help fuel the burn out fund. Parents and community members should be proud of the Council High School Textile Program because these students' learn the value of helping a community. i