Environmental Protection & Preservation
Province Strengthening Environmental Education
The McGuinty government is strengthening
environmental education by continuing its support of the EcoSchools program
and launching two youth websites, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne and
Environment Minister Laurel Broten announced today.
"We must help students build on the knowledge and leadership they have
already shown on climate change issues," said Wynne during a visit to Earl
Haig Secondary School, a Toronto District School Board certified EcoSchool.
"Our government is committed to reaching every student with an environmental
education that inspires them to take positive action."
"Climate change is the challenge of our generation," said Broten. "By
informing and inspiring students to take action on environmental issues and
climate change, Ontario benefits in two important ways -- we will have
healthier schools and greener communities, and we are growing the
environmental leaders and innovators of tomorrow."
Building on its commitment to turn environmental education into action on
climate change, the McGuinty government is:
- Affirming its support for the Ontario EcoSchools program
- Launching two new youth websites www.obviously.ca for secondary students and www.ontario.ca/ezone for elementary students to increase environmental issues awareness.
Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education program that addresses
both how the schools are run and what students learn. It has been designed by
school boards to incorporate environmental education as well as
environmentally responsible action into the school setting. Evergreen
has been a partner in the EcoSchools program since its
inception and has been responsible for the development of its school ground
greening component. There are currently 107 certified EcoSchools at six boards
"Evergreen is thrilled to be administering a $500,000 grant from the
Ministry of Education to support the growth and expansion of the Ontario
EcoSchools program," said Evergreen's Executive Director Geoff Cape.
"EcoSchools has helped so many students, teachers and staff take action
together for the environment - in the classroom, in the school building and on
the school grounds. We are certain it will be welcomed in schools and boards
across Ontario. We congratulate the government for its support and vision."
"EcoSchools are focused on student success - in both academics and
positive contributions to society," said Catherine Mahler, EcoSchools' project
coordinator. "This government support will help us engage thousands of more
students, enabling them to take their classroom learning and transform their
schools with environmentally responsible practices."
The Ministry of the Environment today launched two websites -
www.obviously.ca for secondary students and www.ontario.ca/ezone for
elementary students. The websites were created to explain the challenges
facing our planet and inspire them to take actions that protect the
environment - all within an interactive media experience that includes music
clips and videos.
"Obviously.ca is unique. Most environmental government websites bombard
you with information and boring statistics," said Sandra Giangioppo, a student
at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute in Toronto. "But obviously.ca
uses creative techniques such as video clips and interesting facts to grab
your attention and really help you understand the important environmental
issues out there. It is a very innovative and cool approach to increasing
environmental issues awareness."
A review by Ontario's Curriculum Council is also underway on how
environmental education is taught in elementary and secondary schools. A
working group, led by astronaut and scientist Dr. Roberta Bondar, is currently
reviewing public submissions and a report to the minister is expected by
All Ontarians have a role to play in making our province greener. The
government has already taken action by protecting a greenbelt that stretches
across southern Ontario from development, introducing tough new laws that
protect our drinking water, producing more renewable energy and doing more to
conserve electricity. But we know more needs to be done. That's why our next
step will be the announcement of a climate change plan - a step that will help
all Ontarians do their part to make our province cleaner and greener while
keeping the economy strong.
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