For the past four years, since the beginning of the TDSB's EcoSchools program, Jackman has earned Platinum Certification. The students, staff, parents and community have worked together to green the school yard, reduce waste and conserve energy. Jackman is also the first school in the TDSB to have a retrofitted green roof. The greening of our school yard began in 1999 to celebrate the new millennium. Dozens of mature trees were planted, and a big portion of asphalt was turned into gardens. Among the different gardens is a vegetable learning garden and a maze of native grasses. A stone amphitheatre was also built to serve as an outdoor classroom. Underneath the centre stone is a time capsule that is registered with the City of Toronto which will be re-opened in 2050. Jackman's school yard provides a healthier environment for students to play in, as well as many opportunities for ecological learning.
The Jackman school community also works hard to reduce waste. Students are encouraged to bring litterless lunches and we compost all organic matter. We also have a recycling program for paper, bottles, cans, juice boxes and ink cartridges. The students are in charge of collecting both compost and recyclables. We are now posting our school newsletter on our web site, significantly reducing the amount of paper we consume.
As part of our efforts to conserve energy, we have planted trees adjacent to the building to provide passive cooling, installed solar blinds and ceiling fans, and put UV film on the windows. The green roof also helps to keep the building warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Our green roof not only conserves energy, but also helps the environment by filtering and capturing storm water and filtering out particulate matter in the air. By replacing a flat black surface green roofs reduce the urban heat island effect, cooling the surrounding neighbourhood. It also provides a habitat for insects and birds. Unlike most other green roofs, Jackman's Green Roof has an indoor observation deck.
Jackman's students, staff and parents are always looking for ways to help the environment and educate others. Some other initiatives that we have taken are promoting the “No Idling” bylaw, participating in the International Walk to School Day, using reuseable cups and plates at school events, and taking the TTC on field trips as much as possible. For the past two Earth Days, we have organized a community collection of different items such as batteries, eye glasses, computer parts and cell phones. We also have two clubs for students who like to participate more actively in these endeavors. We have the after school Gardening Club, and the lunch time EcoTeam. Being committed to the environment is an integral part of life at Jackman, and it is our mission to be a leader in Eco initiatives.