Lipscomb Academy adds Governor's environmental award to its green trophy shelf

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Gov's award Academy group
Students and Lipscomb Academy educators accepted the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award in June at a ceremony on the Lipscomb campus.

On Tuesday, June 25, Governor Bill Haslam awarded Lipscomb Academy Elementary School the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in the Excellence in Environmental Education and Outreach by Schools category.

Lipscomb Academy, one of only two schools in Tennessee designated as a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, was recognized by the governor for its year-long “Keep Our Waters Clean” project. The project focused students’ academic studies on environmentally safe disposal practices for unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Students studied the production of medications, engaged in several hands-on experiments and learned that medications dumped into the landfill or flushed down the toilet leach into soil and remain in the water supply. They subsequently made their findings public using a variety of media outlets.

In one of several service-learning projects, Lipscomb’s third-graders collaborated with the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy, Nissan North America and the Nashville Police Department to host a household hazardous waste collection event where 21,768 pills (163 pounds) were collected, preventing the medications from entering Nashville’s water supply.

Throughout the project, students informed thousands of Nashvillians about the proper disposal of medications to prevent water pollution, antibiotic resistance and medicine residue in soil and food products.

Governor Haslam attended the awards ceremony held on the Lipscomb campus and congratulated all the individuals and entities making a huge difference in Tennessee. “I came to congratulate, but I’m really here to thank you,” said Haslam. “Thank you for being our partners and for the energy and creativity you have put in.

“I want to commend all of this year’s honorees for their innovative efforts to help conserve and protect Tennessee’s natural resources for future generations,” Haslam said.

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation. A panel of 28 judges representing agricultural, conservation and environmental professionals evaluated more than 100 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education.

“The quality of our environment directly affects our quality of life, impacting how Tennesseans live, work and play,” added Tennessee’s Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “Today we had an opportunity to recognize the people and organizations that work so hard to protect our environment, while educating others about sustainability.”

Lipscomb Academy Elementary School is quickly becoming a national model in sustainability education. In 2012, the school’s third-graders earned first-place honors in Tennessee as part of Disney’s Planet Challenge. Lipscomb Academy was the eighth-ranked elementary school in the nation out of 1,900 schools entering the contest nationwide.

The school also received the 2012 SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award in its category along with a $10,000 grant to help fund an environmental initiative at the school in recognition of its School Children’s Recycling Action Program (SCRAP).

In 2009, the school received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Green Schools - K-12, and the school is a three-star partner in the Tennessee Green Star Partnership, a state recognition program for businesses and organizations that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable facilities practices.

Green ribbon award
Also this summer, Lipscomb Academy picked up a Green Ribbon Award from the U.S. department of Education in Washington D.C.
NEED Award LA 2013
Lipscomb Academy Elementary School was also recently named Primary Level School of the Year in the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project’s 33rd Annual Youth Awards for Energy Achievement. Students and educators accepted the award in Washington D.C.