Second place: Argyle Alternative High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Argyle Alternative High School scored high marks with the jury with their incorporation of aboriginal culture and teachings, including art and sculpture, as well as strong environmental stewardship and leadership demonstrated by the students. Part of this leadership comes in the form of short documentary videos that the students create and present to a wide verity of audiences in order to share their knowledge and spread sustainability education to others throughout Canada. Argyle students have managed to win high profile contests with their documentaries, including those sponsored by Manitoba Water Conservation, Crazy for Composting, Caring for our Watershed and both the Manitoba and the Canadian Councils for International Cooperation.
The school displayed a great commitment to sustainability exhibited through the school’s waste reduction programs that include the successful water conservation campaign, composting program and community garden. In order to provide a healthy environment for students and teachers, the school undertook extensive renovations that delivered a new and cleaner heating and air system; a new roof; upgraded and safer electrical services; and new learning areas including a library, science lab and art class. Through these renovations and the introduction of indoor plants, Argyle was able to significantly improve the air quality within the school. In addition to these improvements, students and staff take classes in Argyle's outdoor classroom and are able to receive the health and well-being benefits that come with the outdoor environment, such as proper sun exposure, clean air, the presence of plants and trees and exercise during field work. The jury also noted their appreciation for previous acknowledgements, including the Excellence in Sustainability Award and recognition at the United Nations conference.
For more information on how Argyle Alternative is reaching their sustainability goals, watch their submission video: Argyle Alternative High School: A School of Environmental Leaders