LAUSD Launches the Sustainable Environment Enhancement Developments for Schools

LOS ANGELES - Sustainable Environment Enhancement Developments for Schools (SEEDS), the new Los Angeles Unified School District Facilities Services Division curriculum-based greening program, was launched last month. An informative workshop for school administrators and community organizations highlighted the new program.

“SEEDS is the new frontier for our schools, our communities and our facilities division to work collaboratively toward making every LAUSD school a green school and every Los Angeles neighborhood a green community,” LAUSD Board Vice President Steve Zimmer said. “Schools do not exist separately from their communities. Our communities are not separate from our environments. To paraphrase Chief Seattle, what we do to the earth we do to ourselves. Here, we have a different chance. When we collaborate to improve our environment, we improve our schools; we improve our communities and ultimately we improve ourselves.”

Over 70 school representatives, community partners, and District employees attended the kick-off meeting in April. The new program will provide bond funds to help create or improve greening projects that address sustainability, community building, campus enhancement, students and community health and directly supports the District’s school curriculum. 

"We are proud to announce SEEDS, a $5 million program for the greening of LAUSD," L.A. Unified’s Superintendent John E. Deasy said. "SEEDS will partner with schools and non-profits to create outdoor environments that will positively impact thousands of our students for years to come."
 
An individual school site can receive a maximum of $25,000 in SEEDS funds for providing school sites with District labor, material, program and project management costs to create “garden ready” projects. The school community and partner organizations will complete these projects, as well as provide services such as installing and maintaining plants and other landscaping. 
 
“We’re excited to kickoff this one-of-a-kind program,” the District’s Chief Facilities Executive Mark Hovatter said. “Creating sustainable greening projects that offer outdoor learning environments for students is extremely important to us and our school communities.” 
 
For the first year of the program (and to ensure an equitable use of funds), L.A. Unified has allocated $1 million to be distributed equally throughout the four Educational Service Center Districts, North, South, East and West, and the Superintendent Intensive Support and Innovation Center schools within those geographic regions.

The District began accepting applications on May 1, 2014. The grant awards will be made public once the District’s Board of Education approves the projects. The grantees will receive congratulatory packets of organic seeds from Seeds of Change, which has donated approximately 700 packets of organic seeds to District to support the program.  For more information, please visit:  www.laschools.org/new-site/seeds.
 
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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-4575

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