NC Green School of Excellence, 2016- present.
Barnardsville Elementary School a small, low income school consisting of 150 students. Although the resources are limited and the size is small the school strives to make a big difference in everything it does. Barnardsville Elementary is committed to creating a culture of environmentally conscious students and adults through incorporating sustainable practices and green curriculum into everyday education, play and school wide practices.
BES partners with community members to support green initiatives such as the Storm Water Project, a new sustainable playground, the school garden, honey bee attractive plants and a school wide clean air program. The school annually hosts a spring cleanup where students, staff and community members come together to garden, mulch, pick up trash and spruce up the campus. The teachers at BES devote planning periods to collaborate with Buncombe County science specialist to create a STEM program. This STEM program encourages students to think about the earth, their environmental impact and the environmental impact of humans.
The school is dedicated to creating a school that is sustainable and green. Barnardsville has energy and water saving reminders in every room and bathroom. Student bathrooms have automatic faucets to save water and the newer staff bathrooms have water saving toilets. There are automatic lights in common areas, recycling bins in every room, and the campus utilizes water saving techniques such as mulching, abstaining from sprinklers, and recycling storm water for the garden.
Currently, BES has grant funded picnic tables that are utilized by teachers for outdoor learning. The new playground includes an outdoor classroom to encourage teachers to get outside. The Storm Water Project will conserve water and create a wetland habitat that emphasizes conservation, decreases erosion, increases the population of native plants and species, and helps manage water quality for the community. Barnardsville has numerous partnerships with local farms and gardens including Rayburn Farms, Lazy K Ranch and Ivy Creek Family Farm. The wellness team along with the cafeteria staff have created a plethora of activities for both the staff and students to encourage movement and healthy eating.
The teachers at Barnardsville Elementary are passionate about integrating an environmentally conscious curriculum through outdoor activities, environment education, and classroom practices that encourage to be cognizant and responsible of the impact of their actions. Barnardsville supports local non-profits, such as Eblen Charities, through fundraising and food drives. Participation in these support efforts, along with involvement with Jump Rope for Heart, encourages awareness of the student’s relationship with the world around them.