Magnolia Nature School named 2020 Alabama Green Ribbon School

Students at Magnolia Nature School at Camp McDowell canoeing with their teachers.

WINSTON COUNTY - The Alabama State Department of Education has announced that Magnolia Nature School at Camp McDowell has been named a 2020 Alabama Green Ribbon School.  Magnolia Nature School is one of two schools in the state to receive this award this year, the other being Morris Avenue Intermediate.

This award recognizes innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and promote environmental and sustainability education.  As an Alabama Green Ribbon School, Magnolia Natural School will be nominated to be recognized as as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Awardee, to be announced later this spring.

"We are so proud to have schools that are recognized for not only being beacons of quality education, but that are serving as leaders in innovation - especially in the important role of reducing our carbon footprint. We must be good stewards of the world around us and all of its resources. The effort put into developing efficient use of electricity, maximizing recyclable materials and honing solar energy is truly admirable," Mackey said. "Most importantly, I fully appreciate the teaching and learning about nutrition and environmental issues that will have long-lasting impact for years and years to come. Being environmentally responsible and responsible for our own well-being is essential to having a future that is not only sustainable, but continually prosperous. Congratulations to these Alabama Green Ribbon schools!"

Magnolia Nature School at Camp McDowell's application to become an Alabama Green Ribbon School showcased many impressive efforts in the three aforementioned areas, such as the use of geothermal systems, solar arrays and the installation of a hydro system called an Archimedes screw on an existing dam which, combined, reduce energy consumption and allow less dependence on carbon burning systems for elechicity.

In 2015, Camp McDowell received a $30,000 grant from the United Thank Offering of the Episcopal Church to construct a recycling center on campus. Magnolia Nature School also received the Best Environmental Education Program award from the Environmental Education Association of Alabama in 2019.

Magnolia Nature School will be recognized at the Alabama State Board of Education meeting in May, and celebrated with a picnic hosted by the Alabama Green Ribbon Schools Committee.

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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