Governor Steve Bullock and Lt. Governor Mike Cooney today recognized 13 Montana public schools as the winners of the 2016-2017 SMART (Saving Money and Resources Today) Schools Challenges.
“Schools are leading the way to encourage energy efficiency, conservation, waste reduction, and health promotion across Montana and setting an example for state leaders as we implement Montana’s energy blueprint,” said Governor Bullock. “It’s not just smart – it’s good for schools, good for students, and good for Montana taxpayers.”
Through these challenges, schools found ways to improve energy efficiency, promote healthy and environmentally sound practices, and reduce waste by implementing or expanding programs in their schools. Each school will receive a $1,000 award to support their ongoing efforts.
“These students are the future of our state, and they are paving the way for a smarter energy future in Montana schools and communities,” said Lt. Governor Cooney. “It’s great to see the excitement all across the state as schools and students figure out how to make Montana an even greater place.”
This year, nearly 60 public schools from across Montana enrolled in the 2016-2017 SMART Schools Challenge. Together, Montana’s SMART Schools have saved more than $252,000 through energy conservation, recycled nearly 100,000 pounds of waste, offsetting 1373 metric tons of CO2 equivalents, and saved 16,118,900 kBTU’s of energy.
"It has been such a privilege to participate in and win the SMART Schools Recycling Challenge these last two years,” said Alisha Steffan, teacher at Brorson School in Sidney. “Our favorite part of participating was learning about how to reduce the waste in our community and how much trash we throw away that can actually be recycled.”
The winning SMART Schools are:
SMART Energy Challenge (promotes energy efficiency):
Billings Senior High School, Billings
Bitterroot Elementary School, Billings
Washington Elementary School, Billings
Sweet Grass County High School, Big Timber
Sleeping Giant Middle School, Livingston
SMART Green Challenge (promotes more environmentally friendly practices):
Capital High School, Helena
Park County High School, Livingston
Central Elementary School, Helena
Red Lodge High School, Red Lodge
SMART Recycling Challenge (implements or enhances recycling programs):
Elder Grove Elementary School, Billings
Arlee School District, Arlee
St. Ignatius Middle School and High School, St. Ignatius
Brorson School, Sidney
Governor Bullock and Lt. Governor Cooney will be visiting several of the winning schools during the week of April 24 - April 28 to acknowledge their work and encourage them to build on their successes to save money and resources in their schools.