School Education & Outreach


Green School Awards

In honor of Earth Day, The City of Ventura recognizes two schools for their outstanding sustainability and water wise efforts.  Environment Sustainability Division has partnered with Agromin Premium Soil Products to present Environmental Leadership Award. Ventura Water presents the Watershed Hero Award. To apply for this year’s Green School Awards, please complete the online application or written application by March 31, 2017. Winners will receive $500 and be recognized in front of the City Council! All public and private schools within the Ventura City limits are encouraged to apply.

Visit  to apply online or here Written application PDF for written application.

Send written application or supplemental documents (photos, reports, site plans, etc.) to Brandon Kaysen at or mail to:

City of Ventura

Brandon Kaysen, Environmental Services Specialist

336 Sanjon Road, Ventura CA 93001

Review our Guidance Document PDF  for application assistance and examples.

Contact Brandon Kaysen with Environmental Sustainability or Haili Matsukawa with Ventura Water for questions regarding this award or other education opportunities offered by the City of Ventura.

Congratulations for the 2015-2016 Winners

Green School Award: Buena High School
- Buena won for their myriad of innovative recycling, composting and water wise gardening programs. Video Coming Soon!

Watershed Hero Award: Mound Elementary School
-Mound Elementary converted 1,600 square feet of turf into a native plant garden and built an aquaponics greenhouse. They also recycle milk cartons and compost food waste through the pilot lunch-waste recycling program!. Watch Video

FREE Educational Outreach Programs

The City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability Division and Ventura Water offer free educational presentations to all local K-12 schools, after-school and pre-school programs.  Where Does it Go? is an inter-active educational program that teaches students about natural resources, solid waste management, recycling, waste reduction strategies and marine debris.   All presentations are tailored to specific grade levels and is standards-based. 

The Magic of Water is a program for middle and high-school students that emphasizes the protection and awareness of our local water sources.  What is a Watershed? can be modified pre-k through adult to teach the importance of watershed protection and best management practices that keep our community and watershed clean.  Dr. Rot is a specific program for third grade students to teach them about the magic of composting and how healthy soils are made from our kitchen scraps.  Winston the Worm is a pre-k to 3rd grade presentation on vermicomposting and can include the installation and assistance with an in-class worm bin.  The City also offers free tours of the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants.  These tours offer a fabulously in depth understanding of our water supply and challenges with managing this precious resource.  The City sees approximately 6,000 students a year with these programs.  For more information or to sign up for a presentation call Brandon Kaysen with Environmental Sustainability at 805-652-4593 or Haili Matsukawa with Ventura Water at 805-652-4501.

Students Conduct Waste Assessments

Students from Montalvo Elementary School Perfom Waste Assessment

Students are making connections between their everyday actions and the impact those choices have on the environment.  As a part of a new Ventura School District initiative, the City of Ventura's Environmental Sustainability Division will work with local schools to develop a waste assessment which can be used both as an learning experience and a tool to reduces operating costs associated with waste management.  The City is working in partnership with EJ Harrison and Ventura Unified School District to reduce waste.  The data collected during the waste assessments have enabled us to begin implementing pilot programs which are showing significant waste reduction.  

In 2012, EJ Harrison, the City and VUSD partnered to implement a food waste composting and milk carton recycling program at EP Foster Elementary School.  The custodian reports a reduction in trash from 44 bags daily to just 7.  That's a significant savings!  The food is composted at the Agromin test site on the east-end of the city limits.  Milk Cartons and the milk represented close to 20% of the total volume of trash before the new program was established.  Check out this fun video of a skit that was performed by City staff to educate the students about the new recycling program. 

Click Here for an article about Montalvo Elementary School's Waste Assessment

Click Here to listen to an NPR podcast

Green School Award Past Winners

  • 2014 Green School Award Recipients - Lincoln Elementary School
  • 2014 Watershed Hero Award Recipients - Loma Vista Elementary School
  • 2013 Green School Award Recipients - EP Foster Elementary School
  • 2013 Watershed Hero Award Recipients - Will Rogers Elementary School
  • 2012 Green School Award Recipients - Ventura Charter School of Arts & Global Education
  • 2011 Green School Award Recipients - Balboa Middle School
  • 2010 Green School Award Recipients - Portola Elementary School
  • 2009 Green School Award Recipients - Lincoln Elementary School
  • 2008 Green School Award Recipients - Saticoy Elementary School

Kids' StuffRecycle Rex