The Green Institute at Furr High School is only two years old, but that program is already getting national attention for its efforts.

In March, a group of students from there delivered a presentation at the National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program in Washington, D.C.

Furr High School’s Green Institute serves as the hub of Houston Independent School District’s Green Ambassadors program and the Houston East End Greenbelt, which is housed on campus and run jointly by Furr teachers, students  and the Forest Service partner, Friends of the National Forests & Grasslands in Texas—Latino Legacy. The program is under the leadership of Career and Technical Education agriculture teachers Juan Elizondo and David Salazar, as a result of grant from the USFS-National Urban and Community and Forestry Advisory Council.

“Green Ambassadors are students who go out to our elementary and middle schools to share information on how to take care of the environment,” explained Dr. Simmons. “They are also working with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclaim and restore Clinton Park.”

Participating students have already planted more than 100 fruit trees at schools and other public spaces, and they are hoping to have more than 200 planted by the end of January. The program is also helping to support the Urban Refuge Partnership. Through numerous partners and collaborators, the Houston Greenbelt is becoming a sustainable model that others are interested in replicating nationwide.

“This is not about just gardens and food,” said Furr HS teacher Juan Elizondo. “It’s about restoring communities through nature, planting trees and other beneficial plants which provide resources to the community and ecological benefits to everyone. We’re connecting students to agencies and natural resource organizations in which the students may one day find a career in which they have a passion.”

The Green Institute

Juan Elizondo, Educator at The Green Institute at Furr High School, Place-Based Education Career and Technical Education, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Green Ambassador Woodsy Owl Conservation Corps, Green Amigos Latino Legacy, Climate Change Adaptation Place-Based Learning

 

David Salazar, Educator, The Green Institute at Furr High School, MAKERSPACE Director Texas A&M, Climate Change and Resilient Communities Project Career and Technical Education, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources

 

 

 

Luis Angel Cruz, Director and Founder

Green Amigos Latino Legacy, Houston Greenbelt Initiative  

Green Ambassador Health and Wellness Zumba Fitness Initiative, Instructor and Director

 

 

 

 

 

Nalleli Hidalgo, Director and Founder Green Amigos Latino Legacy, Houston Greenbelt Initiative  Green Ambassador Woodsy Owl Conservation Corps

Permaculture Design and Landscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerson Hernandez, Green Ambassador Outreach Education

The Green Institute at Furr High School, Senior High School Student

Woody Owl Conservation Corps, Green Amigos Latino Legacy

 

 

 

Cinthia Cantu, Green Ambassador Outreach Education

The Green Institute at Furr High School, Senior High School Student

Guardians of Conservation Health and Wellness Zumba Fitness Initiative

Participating in ALEF 2016

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©2017 Americas Latino Eco Festival