Pasco County’s Academy at the Lakes, an independent and non-denominational private school, is being recognized for its commitment to the environment and efforts to protect Florida’s natural resources. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection designated Academy as a ‘Green Apple’ school, meaning it fosters a healthy environment for students, employees and communities.
The Academy’s Upper Division Green Club co-presidents, Andrey Chee ’20 and Katie Erin McCormick ’20, pursued this designation to help Academy become recognized as the only school in the Tampa Bay area and one of 15 in the state to have this designation.
The school’s green efforts include a recycling program, low-flow toilets and water fountains, eco-friendly cleaning products, and encouraging sustainable behavior among students. These practices reduce water, energy use, and waste, which help lower operating costs.
“We’re proud of our Upper Division Green Club and how our entire student body has embraced these new eco-friendly practices,” said Mark Heller, Headmaster of Academy at the Lakes. “Academy at the Lakes is hopeful to keep climbing the ladder and continue to be recognized for our efforts, especially as the only school with this designation in our area.”
The designation benefits the school by offering students and staff members web access to best management practices, technical support and green resources that can help teach them how to lower power, water and waste bills.
To become certified, schools must conduct a thorough property assessment and implement a specific number of environmental practices in five areas of sustainable operations: communication and education; waste reduction, reuse and recycling; water conservation; energy efficiency; and air quality.
For more information on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s Green School Designation program and to see the full list of schools, visit https://floridadep.gov/osi/green-school-designation.
About Academy at the Lakes
Academy at the Lakes was founded in 1992 as an independent, co-educational, non-denominational college-preparatory school. Based in Land O’ Lakes, FL, Academy serves approximately 500 students in PreK3 through Grade 12 in three divisions: Lower Division, Middle Division, and Upper Division, each with individual directors. Academy at the Lakes’ curriculum provides a well-defined focus and energy for not only academics, but also for service, arts, athletics, and other core activities.