Footprint Earth Foundation and River Grove Elementary have agreed to partner in creating Footprint Earth Foundation’s first “nature immersion” school. The school, nestled in Wilder Forest in Marine on Saint Croix, Minnesota will bring thoughtful environmental education to its students.
James Stelter, CEO of Footprint Earth Foundation says, “We are excited about this opportunity. This is the perfect marriage. Footprint Earth Foundation’s mission to ‘plant the seeds of commonsense sustainability’ matches well with River Grove’s mission to ‘utilize the natural resources . . . as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, art, and other curriculum subjects.”
The goals of this partnership are:
- Project-based learning where students will be challenged to analyze data to make educated decisions on sustainable initiatives for their school.
- Sustainable classrooms and campus strategies including building upgrades to maximize energy efficiency and water efficiency, strategies to achieve zero or minimum waste, sustainable food solutions, and thoughtful materials purchasing.
- A goal to become fully Carbon Neutral within 7 years which will be attained through a combination of energy reduction projects, energy independence and carbon offset projects.
Kristina Smitten, Board Chair of River Grove Elementary says, “This is a unique opportunity for our students and our community. The school uses place-based and project-based learning, and this partnership will provide our students the opportunity to contemplate choices around sustainability, evaluate results of actions, and then to share their learning with the community. We look forward to our community of learners working with Footprint Earth Foundation.”
In August, River Grove Elementary opened its doors for the first time to 165 new students in kindergarten through sixth grade. These students will help carve the future of River Grove Elementary.
Footprint Earth Foundation, now in its third year of operation is a project based 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing sustainability education to local communities. In addition to this partnership, Footprint Earth Foundation’s other projects include LEDs for HOPE, which provides LED lightbulbs to low income families to replace incandescent and CFL light bulbs, local park and watershed clean-up projects and urban reforestation initiatives.