It’s not easy being green.
But 16 public schools from around the country managed to make the grass greener and were named winners in the first nationwide search for the best school forest park.
The Cauayan National High School in Cauayan City, Isabela (Region II) stood out as model of environmental care in the school and community as it was named grand winner among the 16 finalists.
Though highly urbanized, the National Capital Region still produced a finalist in Commonwealth High School in Quezon City, which converted what used to be a garbage area into a mini-forest park with all sorts of trees and plants replete with benches and even nipa huts.
“(They are) not schools with a forest park. Some can be described as schools within a forest,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said during the awarding ceremony on Thursday at the Department of Education (DepEd) main office in Pasig City.
The 16 schools were among the 189 public schools that responded to the DepEd’s call in 2008 to grow trees for a school forest park.
The prizes totaling P7.6 million were funded through the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Sen. Loren Legarda who has taken environmental protection for her advocacy.
All the regional finalists will get 20 computer units for their school worth P400,000.
The national winner, Cauayan NHS will receive an additional P1.2 million for a new school building.
Luzviminda Dela Rosa of DepEd’s special programs and projects office said all 16 schools turned out beautifully landscaped school premises by planting all sorts of trees, vegetables and plants.
Dela Rosa said in Cauayan NHS, every classroom had a vegetable or flower garden.
“There is no idle space. Everything is beautiful to the eye,” she said.
The Tubungan National High School in Tubungan, Iloilo (Region VI) was adjudged first runner-up while Ilocos Norte National High School in Laoag City (Region I) was second runner-up; Barobo National High School in Barobo, Surigao del Sur (Caraga) third runner-up; and the Dacudao National High School in Calinan, Davao City (Region XI) was fourth runner-up.
The other regional winners were: Maria Aurora National High School in Aurora (Region III); Alabat National High School in Quezon (Calabarzon); Princess Urduja National High School in Puerto Princesa City (Mimaropa);
Don Servillano Platon Memorial High School in Tinambac, Camarines Sur (Region V); Sierra Bullones Technical Vocational High School in Bohol (Region VII); Tacloban National Agricultural High School in Tacloban City (Region VIII); Siayan National High School in Zamboanga del Norte (Region IX);
Placida Mequiabas National High School in Kapatagan, Lanao Del Norte (Region X); Tulunan National High School in Tulunan, North Cotabato (Region XII); and the Pilar Rural High School in Pilar, Abra (CAR).