58 schools in Windsor-Essex have received Ontario EcoSchools certification.

43 of the schools are within the Greater Essex County District School Board and the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board has 15.

Leamington District Secondary School has received Platinum status for the second consecutive year. Vincent Massey SS, W.F. Herman Academy, Anderdon Public School and Dr. David Suzuki Public School also earned the highest certification level.

To attain Platinum status a school must have had Gold certification in 3 of the previous 5 years and earned at least 75  per cent in evaluations of all 6 categories: Teamwork / Leadership; Energy Conservation; Waste Minimization; School Ground Greening; Curriculum; and Environmental Stewardship.

19 GECDSB schools received Gold status from the provincial governing body, 18 earned Silver and there was one Bronze.

Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School, Assumption College Catholic Middle School, and Cardinal Carter Catholic Middle School are the latest to receive such a designation.

“This is a really a celebration of all the hard work our students and staff have done towards greening their schools,” said Mike St. Pierre, a curriculum consultant who oversees the implementation of the EcoSchools program in WECDSB schools. “These people are keenly aware of the importance of protecting our environment and taking meaningful steps in their schools to reduce waste, lower energy consumption, and improve their school grounds.”

The goal of the EcoSchools program is to empower young people with the knowledge, skills, perspectives, and desire to act as environmentally responsible citizens.

Across the province, a record number of 1,830 schools were certified for the 2016-17 school year.

Ontario EcoSchools works with 56 school boards to nurture student leadership and foster environmental learning and action in school communities.

Certification is based on a provincial standard established by twelve years of benchmarking: currently, the program certifies 37 per cent of all schools in Ontario and reaches close to 850,000 students.