New District Task Force Aims to Promote Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Superintendent Barry Groves has created a “sustainability task force” of students, parents and teachers this year that plans on working with the schools in the MVLA district to take measures promoting environmental efficiency. It first met on Thursday, January 15 and will reconvene in March.
According to the January 15 meeting agenda, “The Superintendent’s Sustainable Task Force is an effort to reduce our environmental impact, preserve resources and show sustainability in action. Our goal is to create a healthier environment now and richer possibilities for generations to come.”
The task force has an extensive list of the measures it wishes to take against waste and pollution. Possible courses of action include planting drought-tolerant trees, shrubs and ground cover to combat erosion. Shields on outdoor lights could reduce light pollution. Ozone protection would be achieved through the elimination of chlorofluorocarbon-based refrigerants and leakages.
“Right now there’s a green movement for government buildings like schools,” task force member and science teacher Greg Stoehr said. “The district believes that if we can do something good for the environment and cut down costs at the same time, for example, through…using less water and using less electricity, it would be good for everyone.”
The task force is also considering automatic window blind sensors to help “encourage the use of natural light,” and the skylights in the gyms are being reviewed. The task force also plans on emphasizing education regarding recycling and energy conservation.
“After the first meeting last Thursday, I felt like bouncing off the ceiling,” the school’s task force representative junior Kira Labuda said. “It’s so exciting that our school district sees how crucial a role sustainability plays in our present and future and that they want to get on board.”
It is unclear how the task force will receive money.
“It may take a general obligation bond approved by the local voters [to get funding],” Groves said. “Or we may [implement changes] when we have the funds—not this year.”
There are currently two student representatives from each high school with Kira and sophomore Jason Hu from this school.
“It’s such a relief that they’re getting us all together to decide how to take action, versus us needing to convince them,” Kira said. “And feeling the others’ enthusiasm really inspires me. I absolutely cannot wait to see results.”
Students with ideas on how the school can go green can email the Green Team at [email protected]