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Dutch Fork Elementary named Green Ribbon School.

Dutch Fork Elementary School has become the first school in South Carolina to be named a Green Ribbon School since the environmental program began in 2011, according to the S.C. Department of Education.

The 2019 list of 35 Green Ribbon Schools was released by the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday. The schools are recognized for addressing three program pillars: reducing environmental impact and utility costs, improving health and wellness, and ensuring effective sustainability education.

"South Carolina is blessed with an abundance of natural resources," S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in the release. "Educating our young people about the environment and how we can work together on conservation efforts is paramount to ensuring future generations can continue to enjoy our state's beauty. Dutch Fork Elementary has shown what is possible with their innovative curriculum and sustainable practices and will serve as a model for schools across our state for years to come."

Dutch Fork Elementary's Academy of Environmental Sciences, a magnet school in Lexington-Richland School District 5, features a "From the Mountains to the Sea" continuum that uses human interactions with nature to drive critical thinking and explore the S.C. landscape within a global context.

The program uses efficient lighting and cooling systems and participates in water conservation by collecting rainwater to use in its school gardens, according to the release. The academy features a Farm to School program, a nature trail, a recycling program and a fitness club. Its students also measure plastic bag usage, observe wildlife and research air quality.

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Publication:Columbia Regional Business Report
Geographic Code:1U5SC
Date:May 22, 2019
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