Environmental Learning

Pine Bend Teaches Environmental Learning Through Hands-on Activities
Posted on 08/02/2019
Pine Bend students help Dakota County research food wasteOver the last two years, Pine Bend Elementary School students have learned about taking care of the environment. With help from local agencies, including Dakota County and the Minnesota Horticultural Society, students learned how to reduce and properly dispose of waste and how to grow fruits and vegetables in their school garden.

Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, Dakota County worked with students on a Green Initiative. As part of the initiative, the school participated in a Food Waste Audit to help the county understand food waste in schools and implement best practices to prevent it. During lunch times, students helped county employees sort waste, measure the volume of each waste category, and survey other students. Milk waste was tracked over three months. After the audit, students learned how to reduce milk waste and were able to decrease the waste by 32%.

The Pine Bend School Garden Team welcomed three new members during the 2018-2019 school year and received seven new garden beds from the Minnesota Horticultural Society. Many families have been helping the team keep up the gardens over the summer.

During the last days of school, students separated what was left in their lockers by what could be recycled and reused. Dakota County helped students during their Locker “Green Out” and were able to recycle more than 100 pounds of material. Nearly 150 pounds of unused notebooks, pencils, and other school supplies that may have been otherwise thrown away were kept to be reused by Summer Academy students.