Creating personal responsibility for the environment helps create the democratically active citizenry we need. Working from the ground up, the NCEP empowers selected teachers and students to remedy specific environmental concerns in their communities. Students see up close and personally how their actions can influence the environmental health of their own communities
The need to empower residents of low-income neighborhoods with the civic skills to address environmental issues in their communities is particularly acute. Residents of at risk urban neighborhoods are exposed to higher levels of air and water pollution and are more likely to live near a power plant or waste site.
So far, more than 20 projects have been undertaken with huge success!
- Cincinnati – Students from 3 low income schools worked with green architects and a local community group for more than a year to turn a regular bond initiative into a green bond. The city not only accepted the student-driven recommendations, but agreed to greenlight $5 billion in school construction projects!
- Chicago – Students led a research and planning effort to turn abandoned neighborhood brownfield sites into useable recreation space.
- Seattle – Students developed building design modifications to address storm water management in the Puget Sound. They are currently working with city planners to provide recommendations to make the new high school a green building.
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