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District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee News

District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee News


District 30’s Environmental Awareness Committee (EAC) mission statement is to "promote responsibilityto improve and preserve the environment." 

The Environmental Awareness Committee “Celebrates Earth Day Every Day.” 



The EAC has been an integral part of the school community for over 24 years.  Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Melissa E. Hirsch, has been working with a committed group of individuals by developing and initiating environmental activities district-wide. 

The EAC’s goals include supporting environmental activities at the schools and re-affirming sustainable practices in the lunchrooms. In addition, the committee’s focus is on continuing to build and maintain school gardens for conservation at  Wescott and Willowbrook School.


• Upholding the no idling rule during drop-off and pick-up at the schools

• Celebrating, supporting, and promoting Earth Day, America Recycles Day, Green Apple Day of Service, and  Walk and Bike to School Days

• Maintaining the prairie garden at Wescott School, as its plant species continue to enhance aesthetic and butterfly attractiveness. The group is also managing the butterfly and  pollinating insect conservation gardens at Wescott and Willowbrook (new spring 2018) Schools.

• Hosting a pumpkin recycling and composting activity following Halloween for the past two years.

Other actions that have taken place to help raise environmental consciousness include the recycling of electronic equipment, clothing, books, and shoes at the schools. Earth Day assemblies and Arbor Day celebrations also help educate and promote sustainability at our schools.

Interesting Fact:

  • District 30's refuse handler, Waste Management, recycles enough materials in one year to fill the Empire State Building more than 27 times. Find out how you can recycle at home and work.

Update from Village of Glenview

SOLARIZE Chicagoland

In Illinois homeowners can cover up to 60% of the cost of going solar through state and federal incentives! Throughout the Spring and Summer the Citizens Utility Board will be hosting 50+ free solar educational events as part of Solarize Chicagoland.

Fourth Graders Share Energy Projects

Math and Science teacher Kery Obradovich has been working with Wescott School fourth graders on a special energy project this year. Their goal was to obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and how their uses affect the environment; and generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.

Here is their project outline:

*Students analyzed primary source images for each energy resource to generate research questions, and learned basics about each energy.

*Working in groups, students researched 1 of 6 renewable or nonrenewable resources.

 *After research, students were regrouped with 1 student representative from each energy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

 *Students then chose the energy that is least harmful to the earth and humans.

 *Students wrote scripts to demonstrate and share their knowledge of their energy.

 *Students used the Apple Clips app to film energy commercials.

View the students' energy commercials at

Glenview Lions Help Revitalize Arbor Day at Schools

The Glenview Lions Club is king, when it comes to helping local elementary schools learn about the importance of trees to the environment. On Arbor Day, April 26, for the sixth-year-in-a-row, representatives from the Glenview Lions Club visited fourth-graders at Wescott and Willowbrook Schools to share information about tree care and to distribute Norway spruce saplings to the students. The Glenview Lions’ members were Terry and Rita Dooley, President Thomas Zanoni, and Secretary, James Martin.

Since the Glenview Lions have been visiting Wescott and Willowbrook, they have handed out over 800 trees since 2014. The saplings they provided were courtesy of the Fourth Grade Foresters USA, an organization which aims to revitalize the celebration of Arbor Day in schools. The group has distributed 750,000 saplings to fourth graders in over 7,100 schools across the country since 2006. The organization's current goal is to distribute a million trees by 2021.

Mr. Dooley talked about how to plant and care for their saplings. 

He reminded the children, “In the era of global warming and air pollution, tree planting is even more important than ever. Norway Spruce saplings do not spread on their own, but need to be planted to grow and prosper. Trees take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to help reduce warming and help clean the air we breathe. Planting trees is a simple, inexpensive, and easy way to address the problem.”

A Tree Grows in Northbrook

At Wescott School, there was a planting ceremony before the Glenview Lions’ representatives handed out the Norway Spruce saplings to the kids. Wescott parent Tracey Becker brought her daughter Molly’s two-foot tree which she received as a sapling in fourth grade three years ago. They decided to donate it to the Wescott grounds, next to the butterfly garden. Horticulture expert Rob Sulski (Foot Stone Inc.) with custodian Lucio Castrejon dug the hole for the tree. Students helped pat earth around it after it was inserted into the ground. Care of the tree was discussed, and many of the kids were excited to see how large a sapling could grow in just a few years.

Those individuals who helped coordinate this activity included Assistant Superintendent Dr. Melissa Hirsch, Wescott Principal Dr. Chris Brown, Willowbrook Principal Dr. Scott Carlson, with fourth grade teachers Jane Eilhauer, Julie Molay, Jennifer Murnick, Jessica Schutz, Betsie Onsrud, Jennifer Lund, and Molly Shanahan.

Northfield Township Road District’s Recycling Information
The Northfield Township Road District is located at 237 Melvin Drive in Northbrook. The Northfield Township Road District’s recycling facility accepts a wide variety of items for charitable re-use or responsible recycling, which are listed in detail on the Road District’s website.  Drop off hours are Monday through Friday 7am to 3pm until November 1, 2019.

In addition to weekday recycling, the Road District also hosts off-site recycling and paper shredding events at locations around the community. Residents are encouraged to check the Road District website for scheduled events. For more information about Northfield Township recycling programs, call the Road District at (847) 724-7055.

About the Northfield Township Road District

Located in northern Cook County, Northfield Township represents nearly 78,000 people. Under Highway Commissioner Tim Rueckert's leadership, the Road District provides efficient and economical services for residents in the unincorporated areas of Glenview, Northbrook, and Northfield. Working together in a cooperative and professional manner with neighbors, Cook County, the State of Illinois, and the surrounding villages, problems are identified, and practical, cost-effective solutions are developed utilizing the resources at hand. The Road District is located is 237 Melvin Drive, Northbrook. For more information visit Northfield Township Road District or call 847-724-7055.


EAC News Briefs from 2018


What can and can't be recycled in Northbrook at  

What can and can't be recycled in Glenview at

Willowbrook Prepares to Welcome Butterflies to New Garden Next Year

On November 8, Willowbrook School third-graders participated in the second installation of plantings in the new butterfly garden, which is located in front of the school.

On Halloween, ecological restoration expert Rob Sulski with Foot Stone Inc. and retired Glenbrook North High School science teacher Mike Piskel prepared the garden by augering holes for the plant plugs. The plugs are homegrown from Mr. Sulski's garden. First graders planted the first 250 plants last spring, and there were still a few Purple Asters flowering on November 8, when the temperature was in the 40's!

The duo arrived at Willowbrook with over 250 plant plugs representing over 20 varieties for Marcy Cohen and Jessica Braiman's students to take part in the planting process! Mr. Sulski was very engaging and informative about each plant species, as he handed plants out to over 40 students during over one-hour period.

The following butterfly food and reproduction low profile species plant plugs were installed in the garden: Michigan Lilly, Northern Drops, Red Grass, Blue-Eyed Grass, Purple Cornflower, Wild Geranium, Prairie Phlox, Blue Aster, Leadplant, Shooting Star, Northern Dropseed Grass, Prairie Phlox, Alum Root, Golden Alexander, Smooth Blue Aster, Purple Milkweed, Shooting Star, Purple Coneflower, Small Sundrops, Stout Blue-eyed Grass, Michigan Lily, Wild Geranium, Lead Plant, Foxglove Beard Tongue, Little Bluestem Grass, Marsh Blazing Star, Showy Goldenrod and
Brown-eyed Susan.

According to Ms. Obradovich and Ms. Goss, in science class, "Third graders have been constructing arguments to support the idea that plants have external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction."  

"This is exactly what Mr. Sulski was explaining when he was describing the long roots of the prairie plants.  Some of the students noticed the roots were longer than the plants themselves.  One student observed that the roots on his plant were more than double the height of the plant," said Ms. Obradovich.

"Third-grade scientists have also been planning and conducting their own investigations to determine the needs of plants to grow," added Ms. Goss.

The installation of butterfly and prairie gardens at Willowbrook and Wescott Schools are initiatives supported by District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee (EAC), which is led by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Melissa E. Hirsch.

EAC Hosts Successful Pumpkin Recycling Drive!

On November 1, District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee (EAC) with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Melissa Hirsch, hosted a very successful pumpkin recycling event at Maple School.

Thanks to a dedicated and environmentally-conscious community, in less than three hours, the two-yard toter was filled with donated pumpkins, which will all be recycled into compost by Waste Management!

Thank you to EAC member Tracey Becker and parent Catherine Caporruso Hartman, who volunteered at the event!

The EAC appreciates the efforts of all community members who supported this event!

EAC's mission statement continues to be "The EAC is dedicated to promoting responsibility to improve and preserve the environment."

EAC members include Chris Brown, Tracey Becker, Rachel Hawkins, Decima Panitch, Beth Preis, and Sammi Nadel.

EAC Meets to Establish Goals for the 2018-19 School Year

The EAC committee held its first meeting of the year on September 26, with Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and instruction, Dr. Melissa E. Hirsch. This year’s committee members include Dr. Chris Brown, Decima Panitch, Tracey Becker, Rachel Hawkins, Sergey Sinelnikov, Beth Preis, and Sammi Nadel.

The committee discussed updating goals for the 2018-19 school year, continuing to build school gardens for conservation, Walk to School Day, and plans for a post-Halloween pumpkin composting activity.  Watch for updates in future Friday Flyers.

Plant the Garden and the Pollinating Insects Will Come!

Wescott School's butterfly garden was planted two years ago, and is now flourishing and attracting butterflies and pollinating insects.

This was one of District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee's initiatives, which includes building and maintaining gardens for conservation at the schools.

At that time science specialists Kery Obradovich and Kristin Goss brought students out to help plant the garden with environmental specialist Rob Sulski, with Foot Stone, Inc.

SWANCC Offers Environmental Programs for Glenview Educators

Invite SWANCC staff to give a presentation about solid waste technologies, waste reduction tips and what individuals are doing to be more “green” to groups of 25 or more. Information will be adjusted for age-appropriateness.

Join the Elist for Educators to be notified of resources for educators related to waste reduction, recycling, composting and resources relevant to the classroom.

Chances are good that we have previously hosted a workshop with your current needs in mind; however, there is always room for new topics. If you have suggestions, call SWANCC at (847) 724-9205 or write

SWANCC Display for Loan

Community groups, organizations or schools in Glenview can borrow a display board highlighting community and educational programs offered by Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), along with examples of Agency resources. Contact SWANCC for details at

Willowbrook First-Graders Plant Memories for the Seasons

Willowbrook School's daffodils were in full bloom the day that first graders participated in the planting of the new butterfly garden. District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee partnered with Rob Sulski of Foot Stone, Inc., who has worked on Wescott's prairie and butterfly gardens for the past few years. Early in the morning of April 24, he augured holes in the soil in the front drive near the flagpole. Everything was ready for the first-graders to plant by 9:30 a.m.

Fifth-grade teacher Heidi Fletcher said, "Our first-grade classes were invited to plant this butterfly garden due to the natural connection with their life science unit. They rotated in/out of the garden in 20-minute increments between 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m."

Mr. Sulski met with each class at the main entrance and provided directions before planting. Over the course of just over an hour, 25 species and 256 plants were planted by the children! He will come back in the fall with 250 more plants for the garden!

Many of the students repeated the name of their plant as they put it gently into the soil and patted the dirt around it. Mr. Sulski provided plants grown from his own garden, and some of them included Michigan Lilly, Northern Drops, Red Grass, Blue-Eyed Grass, Purple Cornflower, Wild Geranium, Prairie Phlox, Blue Aster, Leadplant, Shooting Star, and more! He told them to wait until the plants get bigger, and they will see butterflies and pollinating insects visiting the garden!

Throughout the morning, the sunshine and fresh air seemed to bolster the kids' moods. Happy voices shouted out, "This is so fun!" "This is so cool." 

Learning specialist Melanie Roth said, "The butterfly garden was a hit! Memories last longer than one season, and I definitely think that applies to the butterfly garden project that took place today. The students loved getting their hands dirty and learning about the different plants. What a great opportunity for the students to partner up with Mother Nature to make magic!”

Our District


Willowbrook School

2500 Happy Hollow Road
Glenview, IL 60026
School Office: 847-498-1090
Health Office: 847-400-8860


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Wescott School

1820 Western Avenue
Northbrook, IL 60062
School Office: 847-272-4660
Health Office: 847-400-8760

Fax: 847-205-5241

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Maple School

2370 Shermer Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
School Office: 847-400-8900
Health Office: 847-400-8908

Fax: 847-272-0979

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2374 Shermer Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: 847-498-4190


Visit District 30