The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) says Henry County's Magna Vista High School has been honored for its commitment to lower its energy use.
According to VDOE spokesman Charles Pyle, Magna Vista received the Green Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education. The "Green Ribbon Schools" program honors energy efficient and environmentally friendly schools, according to Pyle.
The VDOE says Magna Vista H.S. cut its energy usage by 25% since 2009, with an estimated savings to taxpayers of nearly $250,000. The school earned EPA Energy Star certification in 2012.
The school also developed outdoor learning areas (gardens, landscaping beds and livestock areas), which feature plants that are native to the area, and do not need additional watering beyond normal rainfall, according to the VDOE. Other items noted include wildlife-friendly landscaping, raising and releasing native trout, and buying most of its fruits & vegetables from local growers.
Last year, Roanoke's Fishburn Park Elementary School, and The Gereau Center for
Applied Technology and Career Exploration in Rocky Mount were named Green Ribbon Schools.