Whites Creek wins 2018 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award

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Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation recently announced Whites Creek High School as one of the winners of the 2018 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards. The school is the winner for the Environmental Education and Outreach (Schools) category.

“These recipients have gone above and beyond what’s required of them, and I commend their passion and drive to make Tennessee a more sustainable and innovative state,” said Haslam in a release.

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation. The winners were chosen from more than 75 entries by a panel of 18 professionals representing agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental and academic professionals. The entries were judged based on three areas: on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education.

Read Whites Creek's entry below.

In 2017, the Whites Creek Community Club provided four acres of community gardenspace to Whites Creek High School for the production of soybeans.

With $10,000 in grant funding from Ford Next Generation Learning and a Ford pickup truck, students utilized their soybean harvest to produce an alternative fuel source. In their biodiesel-fueled truck, they traveled to 14 different high schools and various colleges to showcase their work, demonstrating that high schoolers can be active contributors in the area of green energy and that alternatives to common fossil fuels can be implemented.

Ultimately students produced 60 gallons of soybean oil per acre. The project allowedNational Future Farmers of America (FFA) student members to be involved in SupervisedAgricultural Experience Programs for renewable energy and the promotion ofenvironmental advocacy to the National FFA organization at the regional, state and national level.

Whites Creek has and continues to teach others about making biodiesel. The Whites Creek Community Club has hosted student speakers to discuss biodiesel production andstudents spoke at the 2017 Nashville Food Summit. Visiting teachers have also come from a number of states, including Hawaii, to see the program firsthand.

Click here to learn more about the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards.