Two Southland schools and one school district were among 24 winners announced Wednesday of California Green Ribbon Schools Awards, which recognize conservation of resources and promotion of health and environmental literacy.

Eagle Rock Elementary School and Los Coyotes Middle School in La Mirada, along with the Hermosa Beach City School District, were all named recipients of the award by the California Department of Education.

“California Green Ribbon Schools engage our kids to understand and act on behalf of their environment,” said Tony Thurmond, state superintendent of public instruction. “From global-sized problems like climate change to local challenges like water quality, sustainability education grows the creativity, critical thinking skills and environmental literacy our students need in order to lead now and into the future.”

In addition to receiving the state honor, Eagle Rock Elementary was one of five California winners nominated by the state to compete in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program.

Eagle Rock was tabbed for a renovation project that began in 2016, removing 23,789 square feet of asphalt that was replaced with a permeable surface and drought-tolerant trees and plants. The school also features garden programs, outdoor classrooms, a butterfly “way-station” and other environmental-learning opportunities, according to the state.

Along with Eagle Rock Elementary, other state nominees to the national Green Ribbon program are St. James Academy in Solana Beach in San Diego County, Rialto Unified School District in San Bernardino County, Quail Lake Environmental Charter School in Fresno County and Carrisa Plains Elementary School in San Luis Obispo County.

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