Our future is in very green hands

Text reads "Our future is in very green hands" overlay on photo of kids sitting at long wooden desk in Austin City Council Chambers

On May 11, students and their proud teachers were on hand in the atrium at City Hall to talk about the innovative sustainability projects they are implementing at their schools. The 4th Annual Central Texas Student Innovation Showcase provided the forum to highlight the resourcefulness and imagination of their hard work and proved once again, that greener cities are on the rise. With more than 300 in attendance at the Showcase, these students are hopeful that their sustainability ideas will spread to the broader community!

Mom and child looking at a student project display board titled "Project Food Forest"  People fill the atrium of Austin City Hall, looking at student project boards

City of Austin officials, school district and community partners, EcoRise teacher ambassadors, and parents heard from students firsthand as they explained how they conducted environmental audits of their schools to identify areas for improvement. Based on data they collected and analyzed, the students developed sustainability solutions that were implemented with Bright Green Future Grant funding from the Office of Sustainability. Since 2014, EcoRise has partnered with the Office of Sustainability to fund the Eco-Audit Grant Program in Austin. “We are excited to support tomorrow’s sustainability leaders in their efforts to build a bright, green future for Austin,” said Chief Sustainability Officer, Lucia Athens.

Mayor Adler was once again among those that went from table to table, impressed by the breadth and impact of the projects, while posing for photos with the students.

Mayor Steve Adler poses with students at the Student Innovation Showcase  Mayor Steve Adler posing with students at the Student Innovation Showcase

Gabi Garcia speaking at podium  Thora Gray speaking at podium

In addition to celebrating the ingenuity of area students, two teachers were also recognized for their dedication to all things green. Gabi Garcia (above, left) from Akins High School was named the EcoRise Teacher of the Year, and Thora O’Neil Gray (above, right) from the Austin Discovery School received the EcoRise Legacy Award.

Here are the participating schools and their projects:

Akins High School Share Table

Akins High School Water Bottle Waste

Brooke Elementary We Want More lettuce

Lamar Middle School EcoRise Initiatives

Lamar Middle School Monarch Mission

Cedar Park High School Floating Wetland

Cedar Park High School The Art of Recycling

Boone Elementary A Plant for Everyone

St Louis Catholic School Fixing Forks

Hill Elementary No Idling Campaign

Austin High School Outdoor Classroom Commons

Joe Lee Johnson Elementary Zero-Waste Lunchbox Campaign

Joe Lee Johnson Elementary Snacks on Snacks on Snacks

Integrity Academy Cleaning Up Our Waste

Integrity Academy Bus Passes for All

Whole Life Learning Center Waste Busters

Austin Discovery School Project Chicken Coop

Austin Discovery School Project Food Forest

Austin Discovery School Wildlife Discovery Garden

Austin Discovery School Duckity, Duck, Duck/Students of the Roundtable


See more photos of the Showcase>