District moves to create more sustainable practices

Galen Posch

Sustainability week; a spirit week aiming to encourage students to take up more sustainable practices, will occur on the week of March 18 through March 22. Each day follows a theme, with those for Monday through Thursday seen to the left and Friday being a general eco-footprint day bringing everything together.

“Friday’s a more open thing,” environmental science teacher Tracy Dennis said. We say pick your passion around environmental sustainability that day; maybe you carpool that day, or maybe you have a zero waste lunch.”

The goal of the week is to encourage students to think on their own on how they can be more sustainable. According to Dennis, successful efforts in earlier years to introduce composting and sustainable practices have been disrupted by construction.

“It’s not really for us to tell you that you need to do x, y, and z,” Dennis said.  For us the point is to raise awareness and have you guys start thinking. It’s your generation that is going to have to deal with the outcome if we do nothing, if we don’t start managing these issues carefully. I think it’s just time to have people refocus and think about the choices they’re making.”

There will also be a student survey to collect data on sustainability. This will be used to compare with community data and other schools over the next decade.

“We’ll start with about four or five hundred kids this year, and then we’re just going to aggregate it and collect data to see how we improve on it,” social studies teacher Jessica Johnson said.

Sustainability week is part of a larger, district wide push for more sustainable practices, seen in the new green technology being implemented in Liberty’s remodeling. Some of the new technology includes bio-swales, which are eco-friendly runoff ditches that filter out silt and pollution, and permeable asphalt to create water-absorbent roads to reduce runoff.

Liberty is also sending freshmen James Ricks and Lorrin Johnson as sustainability ambassadors to the district to report to the School Board.