Sustainability News and Highlights

Save the Date: 2015 Oregon Green School Summit

The 2015 Oregon Green Schools Summit will be held on Friday, April 3, 2015 at the Western Mennonite School in Salem.

The Summit is an opportunity for students from across the state to convene for a day of celebration, learning and networking. At the summit, we strive to celebrate the accomplishments of each school and to provide opportunities to strengthen programs. Students will attend educational sessions that represent each section of the Oregon Green Schools application: waste reduction and recycling, water conservation, and energy conservation. Students will also attend a session where they can share the story of the green school program at their school and learn from other schools.

Schools with active Oregon Green Schools certification are invited to bring 4-5 students and 1 chaperone. Costs for a classroom substitute teacher and travel expenses will be generously covered by each school’s garbage/recycling hauler.

Contact your regional coordinator if you have questions regarding your school’s certification status and watch for registration and program details in the coming months in the Oregon Green Schools monthly newsletter and on

We’re looking forward seeing you in Salem this spring!

2015 Oregon School Garden Summit - January 30th

Oregon has over 500 school gardens, and many more in dreams or development.  Please join us for this day of sharing and learning between school gardeners, so we can maximize the success and sustainability of all our school gardens.  The first annual Oregon School Garden Summit in 2014 was full of excitement and connections among over 200 attendees; this second one will offer even more, for new and returning participants.  There will be an inspiring keynote speaker, a focus on hands-on activities, a track for beginning school gardeners, and an exciting lineup of workshops and discussion topics.  More information and registration details can be found here.


Resources and Funding for Conservation Projects and Education

Two organizations are offering funding to eligible applicants with conservation project and conservation education ideas.

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District is offering Partners in Conservation (PIC) grants. In order to be eligible for funding, projects or events must be located within the District (Multnomah County lying east of the Willamette River) and fit one or more of the following categories: soil erosion prevention/control, soil health, environmental education, water quality, water conservation, watershed health or habitat restoration. More information can be found on their website. Application deadline is soon - December 15th.

Metro's Nature in Neighborhoods program is also offering grants for conservation education initiatives. A wide variety of projects can fit the bill, such as nature education for K-12 students, building capacity for groups to connect their communities to nearby natural areas, or even job training or internships for nature-based careers. Their website has more information about the application process, as well as examples of previous winners. Metro is also offering a grant workshop on Nov. 5th from 5:30-7:30pm at the Regional Center for those interested in learning more or have questions about the process. Crista Gardner ( is the grants coordinator. Deadline to apply is January 13th, 2015.


New Team Member!

Rachel Willis will be joining PPS this year as the AmeriCorps member and Environmental Projects Coordinator. She hails from upstate New York where she was working as the Sustainability Coordinator at Skidmore College and is very interested in exploring food justice issues, helping with waste reduction efforts, and helping students understand the interconnections of the social, environmental, and economic spheres of sustainability.

Contact Rachel if you are interested in becoming an Oregon Green School, implementing an Organics program at your school, or integrating sustainability into your school culture through classroom presentations, projects, and activities.

Free Green Cleaning Workshop for your class or Green Team


Multnomah County Department of Health is teaming up with PPS Sustainability to offer 40 min long workshops on green cleaning supplies. We will talk about the hazards of many traditional cleaning products and healthy alternative green cleaners. Students will get the chance to make their own multi-purpose green cleaner to try out and take home, and also receive a recipe pack with directions on making other safe cleaning products, air fresheners, and other personal products such as shampoo. Multnomah County is offering up to 10 presentations this spring, let Rachel Willis ( know if you’re interested in doing this fun workshop with your class, green team or student council.