STRENGHTEN A CLIMATE-SMART SCHOOL SYSTEM
THE CLIMATE PRESENT
Our children know that the Earth is warming, that the climate is changing, and that we are responsible for that change. They see a future filled with both climate uncertainty and one fertile with possibility.
They want and need to learn about climate change's causes, its consequences, and its solutions. They are looking forward to a brighter energy future, more resilient and beautiful world, and a more equitable society that protects everyone's health and security. They are look for us to set the example.
We can invest in buildings to the highest standards of individual and planetary health, explore an electric fleet, join with other governmental agencies purchase carbon-free renewable electricity, and teach our children science, values, critical thinking, and citizenship, we can make the future a brighter place for them. Most of all, we need a Climate and Sustainability Plan.
A CLIMATE-SMART SCHOOL SYSTEM
Over the last five years, central Pennsylvania has become a recognized leader on climate action. Peter has been at the forefront of these actions the whole way. Whether working at Penn State on the Commonwealth's largest solar project, crafting legislation for the University or local government, working with his interns on climate education and smart sustainable infrastructure, or leading our region's intergovernmental solar power purchase agreement working group, Peter is committed to a more just and sustainable climate future.
On August 10, 2020, the State College Area School Board passed Policy 833 on Sustainability. IT updated a 2008 Resolution on Sustainability & the Design and Construction of High Performance Schools which set the ground for the District to become an even better leader in operational and educational sustainability. With investments in LEED Platinum facilities and strong community buy-in, the District was already in a strong position. Just a few weeks earlier, the Centre Region Council of Governments’ (COG) General Forum passed the Climate Action Resolution 2020-1. It established targets for the Centre Region to reduce their GHG emissions by 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 based on 2010 levels, and offset the remaining 20% of GHG emissions with carbon offset projects by 2050.
There is so much that SCASD can do. We can work with our teachers on curriculum, with our facilities and fleet staff to improve reduce emissions, and lead by example in cooperation with businesses, authorities, utilities, and schools in the region.
LET'S MAKE A PLAN
We need a plan going forward. The Disctrict has already committed to ambitious actions.
3. Design, construct, and operate high-performance schools and other facilities that are sensitive to natural resource use; conserve energy and water; reduce pollution and waste; promote responsible land development; and deliver a high-quality indoor environment ensuring access to fresh air and daylight;
4. Optimize use of energy and water in performance of facilities and to adopt energy- and water-efficient operations and maintenance protocols;
8. Support the development of benchmarks, time lines, metrics, third-party verification, and the expectation of evaluation in each of the above areas.
9. Recognize and plan for the financial investments in infrastructure and personnel in the interest of long-term sustainability.
Peter would add to this a comprehensive way to make our sustainable infrastructure into teaching tools. Whether our children engage in traditional environmental education in the woods at Park Forest Elementary School or using onsite solar energy dashboards to provide data for science and math classes or design classes designing stormwater systems or school gardens, climate can become part of so many courses from K-12.
Peter’s experience in government and at Penn State means he’s ready on Day #1 to get to work for you on things that matter.
During his time in local and regional government and at Penn State, he has worked to guarantee tax dollars went into excellent public infrastructure and played a key role in high-profile projects. While he served as vice-chair and chair of the Ferguson Township Board, the Board:
Improved rural and urban roads, signals, and bike paths;
Budgeted for and worked on the design of a LEED Gold Public Works Facility;
Invested in and maintained diverse parks for people of all ages, abilities and interests whether they wanted to play soccer or lacrosse or enjoy a peaceful walk in pollinator-rich songbird habitat;
Drafted and passed policy to protect source water, protect property from flooding, and prepare climate action plans;
Cooperated with other governments to act on climate change together.
Peter has served on the Centre Region Council of Governments’ (COG) Public Services and Environment Committee, COG Facilities Committee, and the Spring Creek Watershed Commission. He continues to serve on a voluntary basis as Chair of a regional intergovernmental Solar Power Purchase Agreement Working Group and as the Vice-Chair for the technical advisory group for a regional Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Through his work at Penn State, he works with researchers, staff, and business in green buildings, renewable energy, materials innovation, agriculture, forestry, and policy.