Welcome to the Sustainability Page for Henry Thoreau Elementary School


 The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance."the pursuit of global environmental sustainability"

The purpose of this page is to Consolidate sustainability efforts at Henry Thoreau Elementary School and provide a guide to current practices working towards Awareness, Improvement and Resolution as a community for the well being of our children, teachers, staff and all.

Here are some of the on-going programs and events focused on creating systems to improve sustainability at the school, reducing exposure to toxins, and educating students, parents, teachers and staff about the importance of reducing our environmental impact in order to improve health and create a more livable planet.

1. Herbicide Program

Who : Joelle  - thoreauptaherbicidefree@gmail.com

What:  The Thoreau campus is kept weed-free via a natural treatment plan.  This means the playing areas of our campus are kept free of potentially dangerous herbicide chemicals

LWSD should not be spraying our grounds at all, as long as we keep the campus looking good! See “Annual Pesticide Free IPM Agreement” with LWSD (in shared docs under “Sustainability”).

Learn more by checking out the Herbicide Page HERE

When: TBD

Volunteer : SignUpGenious Page COMING SOON!


2. Bike To School Program

Who: Volunteers with support of PTA and Mrs Keri Levinson

In 2019 we counted with Faith Debolt who has been running the program for the past 2-3 years but her child will be moving to Middle school and the team require new people.

Coordinating Team:  COMING SOON!

Volunteers:  COMING SOON!

When: Yearly during Bike Month - May

What’s done in 2019:

  1. March  
      • Create a team of people (4-5 people) to coordinate all efforts
      • Create Sign UP Genius 
  1. April  - Initiate communications with 
      • IN-School Coordination
        • Mrs Keri Levinson - Coordinate Exact dates of Bike to school Day/Week and Celebration
        • Freni, Sally: SFreni@lwsd.org - opening gate for Fire Dpt on day of event 
        • Volunteers - Through Sign UP genious & Email.
        • Contact Fire Department for visit on Celebration Bike to School (May 22nd)
        • Announcement on Frog’s News: (example below from 2019)
      • Calendars, Helmets & Rewards : City of Kirkland : In 2019 we coordinated with Armaghan Baghoori (Transportation Program Coordinator | (425) 587- 3924) - ABaghoori@kirklandwa.gov), they were able to provide to us 22 helmets, bike bells and other items for reward.

Calendar website: 


IMPORTANT NOTE: The City pays back an an incentive $3 dollars for every collected filled in Calendar by the students, perhaps it is better to ask teachers to fill up calendars in the classroom every day - Best to collect at the end of April so they can go to Teachers mailboxes by May 1st. 

    • 7Hills of Kirkland - 7 Hills of Kirkland <7hills@attainhousing.org> we ended using racks from 7 Hills of Kirkland but it was required to pick them up from Carnation on week day after work hours.
  • Food Donations
    • Cascade Bycicle of Seattle: Donated 96 KIND bars
    • Cotsco - Form : requires a formal Warehouse Donation request (PDF file) emailed to main managers) - we got $50 dollar Cash donation

3. May 

    • Bike Month is here! this is what we did on May 2019:

      • Displayed Banners at both entrances of the School
      • Determined DATE & times (May 22nd 2019, 8:20 - 9:10 a.m)
      • Sign Up Genious for volunteers and specific jobs
      • Collect Calendars and  rewards from the city
      • Distribute Calendars on teachers mailboxes before first week of May
      • Confirm with Fire Department 
      • Confirm collection of racks for the day of the event
      • Confirm donations (food, prizes, certifications, etc)
  • The Day of Celebration - It takes a village - need volunteers for:

    • Collect and set bike racks
    • Helping kids with setting bikes on racks
    • Reward stations (food, prizes)
    • Company to Fire Department 
    • Keep communication with main office, Mrs Levinson and PTA
    • Collect Calendars to take back to the City for money incentive
    • Assign prizes per class if that’s an option.

Volunteer : SignUpGenious Page  (COMING SOON!)

Big thanks to Faith DeBolt and family for leading this program for the last 3 years. Thank you!

3. Earth Week

WHO : Volunteers & PTA
WHAT :  Work closely with the PTSA Board and the the Thoreau Program for how to promote sustainability during Earth Week!
What was done in 2019:
WHEN: April - Earth Day/week
Volunteer : SignUpGenious Page (COMING SOON!)

 4. Washington Green School - Henry Thoreau Elementary School

"Students and communities across Washington State are working to create greener, healthier school environments. Together we are building a better world — now and for future generations. Washington Green Schools provides a system of support for school communities to set and achieve sustainability goals (https://www.wagreenschools.org)"

Let's put our beautiful school in the map of GREEN Schools: https://www.wagreenschools.org/my-account/ & 

The Green Schools National Network - https://greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org/about/

 4. Walk to School Program

To be added soon 

5.  Proposed Programs for 2019-2020 - If   inexistent

1. Green Cleaning Program ( proposal)

This Program involves having students, teachers, parents and staff replace toxic disinfecting wipes (Clorox, Lysol) with the method of cleaning that is recommended by the Washington State Department of Health - spray bottles, eco-friendly dish soap and microfiber cleaning cloths. These may be used for regular cleaning in classrooms, work rooms, the library, the staff room, and any place on campus (other than bathrooms and the kitchen) that require cleaning. They are not used for disinfecting, which should only be done by a custodian or another adult when needed (such as during an illness outbreak), without students in the room for at least 10 minutes.  

2.Composting and Waste Reduction (proposal) - more details to be added soon 

  • Daily composting in classrooms
  • Composting at classroom parties
  • Composting for Staff Appreciation luncheons
  • Composting for all-school events (carnival, ice cream social, etc.)

3. Marker Recycling (proposal)-  more details to be added soon 

The kind volunteer for this program works with teachers on collecting used, empty markers and Kanna boxes them up and sends them to Crayola as part of the Crayola ColorCycle Program. Shipping is free. All sorts of markers, including thick sharpies, dry erase markers and highlighters, are accepted (but not pens or thin sharpies). 

4. Wellness Committee -  more details to be added soon 

5. Incorporate BEST Practices for Waste Reduction ( Add Link to document) 

 This website was added by Eliana Arias-Dotson - Current Chair for Sustainability at the Lake Washington School District for Thoreau  

Following guidelines from Stephanie Lecovin and efforts at other schools in the LWSD to fit Henry Thoreau Elementary School. This is subject to revision and approval of our dear principal Ms Kerian Levinson, PTA and others.Created for the purpose of information and continuing a conversation.

 Created and Edited June 11 2019 by Eliana Arias-Dotson