DMPS Earns Governor’s 2012 Iowa Environmental Excellence Award

Environmental honors continue to grow for Des Moines Public Schools, as today the school district was recognized as one of the 2012 recipients of the Governor’s Iowa Environmental Excellence Award. The award, presented to the district this morning by Governor Terry Branstad, is the premier Iowa environmental honor recognizing result-oriented, sustainable strategies by both public and private organizations across the state.

Interim Superintendent Tom Ahart and School Board member Cindy Elsbernd accept the 2012 Iowa Environmental Excellence Award from Governor Terry Branstad.

“The district’s focus on sound energy and conservation practices in recent years is a win-win-win proposition, saving us millions of dollars, creating better learning environments for our students and teachers, and being the right thing to do for our environment,” said Bill Good, chief operations officer for Des Moines Public Schools.

This is the third major environmental award presented to Des Moines Public Schools this year. In March, the school district was recognized as the Energy Star Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In April, Central Campus was one of the first schools in the nation named a Green Ribbon School in recognition of its environmental practices and curriculum by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards are coordinated by the Governor’s Office, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress, the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Waste Reduction Center.

In recognizing Des Moines Public Schools with the award, the Iowa DNR noted the following accomplishments by the school district: “Eleven school buildings received system improvements in 2011. Energy improvements included retrofitting buildings for geothermal heating and cooling or replacing outdated boilers with high-efficiency units, HVAC and electrical upgrades, building controls that create temperature set points, set back temperatures for unoccupied periods and stagger the startup of equipment to avoid peak demand charges. Other upgrades included the replacement of windows, adding doors with internal insulation and weather stripping and installing high-efficient lighting with motion sensors. The district also incorporated energy conservation into curriculum at all grade levels, and a monthly Energy Report card is emailed to provide additional education, classroom tips, and the energy performance of buildings. These renovations and upgrades have earned 44 schools in the Des Moines district an Energy Star rating, meaning they have better performance than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. The eleven schools that received upgrades in 2011 have seen significant reductions with an average 28 percent less energy consumed.”

Other recipients of the 2012 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award include:

  • City of Perry
  • Kirkwood Community College – Cedar Rapids
  • Quaker Oats Company – Cedar Rapids
  • The ReWall Company – Des Moines
  • Buchanan County Conservation Board
  • Trees Forever – Marion
  • Lowell Elementary Expanded Learning Program – Waterloo
  • Diamond Conservation Fund – Dubuque
  • National Wild Turkey Federation – Woodburn
  • Ajinomoto Heartland Inc. – Eddyville
  • Orange Elementary School – Waterloo

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