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A week ago, in beautiful Portland, Oregon, an amazing group of people from across North America came together with the purpose of laying the foundation for the next strategic steps for the Green Schools National Network (GSNN). With the new school year starting, it signals new beginnings and possibilities for students, teachers, and school leaders. It is also a perfect time for us to break out of our day to day, deepen our commitment to sustainability and support an organization and its Executive Director in continuing their important work that in turn supports our current and future change agents.

The inspiring team included Jennifer Seydel, David DenHartog, and Victoria Holmes, from the Green Schools National Network. Tim Baird, retired superintendent of the Encinitas Union School District, Alison Suffet-Diaz of the Environmental Charter Schools, Michelle Carpenter of Shaw Contract, Tim Cole of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Bob Moje of VMDO, Dr Lennie Scott-Webber of INSYNC, Al Stenstrup, Environmental Education consultant, Deb France of Oh planning+design, and Christopher Roy, our Director of Marketing at Natural Pod.

After two days of great dialogue, visioning and connection led by Dr. Lennie Scott-Webber, it is clear that the work that GSNN does absolutely affects the many layers of the educational system. Starting with changes at the management level, leading to changes within the physical systems and buildings, to changing educational systems overall. This provides the framework for a change in human systems, resulting in a true change in human behavior.

I am pleased with the many ways that school communities are continuing to move forward with environmental education initiatives aimed at providing rich learning experiences that further our students’ understanding of, and connection to the natural world. There will always be a great deal of work to do to shape a just, sustainable, and better future for all. Taking this time to put these systems into place in the present is our starting point.

During our time together Jennifer Seydel shared the below quote, which had a deep impact on me and my hope is that it resonates with you as well.

Looking to the future….

If you are planning ahead 1 year, plant a seed.
If you are planning ahead 10 years, plant a tree.
If you are planning ahead 100 years, educate the people.

Hung Hsu, Chinese Poet, 500 BC

I am truly grateful to serve as Board President of the GSNN, and be part of this committed group that are making great strides towards creating greener schools for all… I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring to many.

By Bridgitte Alomes. Founder and CEO of Natural Pod – Originally posted on LinkedIn

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