It all began with Leadership and Advocacy
For the first eight years of its existence, ALI provided leadership training for community groups. Beginning in 2003, ALI and its Growing Green and Healthy Schools Network, led a wide range of organizations to advocate for green and healthy schools. By working in collaboration with Cincinnati Public Schools, architects, and community leaders, ALI was a citizen catalyst for green and healthy schools in Cincinnati, Ohio and across the nation.
As a result of this collaboration, in 2009 Cincinnati’s Pleasant Ridge Montessori became the first LEED-certified PK-8 public school in the state of Ohio, achieving a twenty-one percent reduction in water usage and a thirty-six percent reduction in utility costs.
Cincinnati Public Schools Green Resolution (pdf)
A Catalyst for Building Green, LEED Buildings
On September 10, 2007, CPS’ Board of Education voted to embrace the U.S. Green Building Council’s program of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the nation’s premier green building rating system. Two weeks later, the Ohio School Facilities Commission came on board, making funds available to help pay for sustainable features and vowing that from now on, all new and renovated schools receiving its support would be green.
By bringing together individuals, organizations, civic leaders and businesses to work in collaboration to design green, sustainable schools, ALI (formerly, ALLY) helped Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) to become the greenest school district in Ohio.
Cincinnati Public Schools lead the state in the number of schools registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)’s LEED program, and Ohio leads the country. The Ohio Schools Facilities Commission created a policy similar to the one ALI’s Green and Healthy Schools Network helped draft for CPS that mandates all new school construction and significant renovations must meet USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Keeping Green Buildings – Green
LEED buildings are “green” because they are environmentally healthier for occupants and economically less expensive in upkeep for the district and taxpayers. There is a great need to train LEED building occupants how to operate and maintain their buildings to keep them at peak efficiency. Our Eco-Mentoring program was initiated to meet this need, using the school building, grounds and operations as teaching tools.