• We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - Native American ProverbWe are a community of teachers, staff, caregivers and community members focused on building a brighter, healthier, more equitable future for our children. We are a community daring to dream and working together to heal and restore our planet through local action across our school district. We are educating and engaging our students as future leaders on ways they can champion climate action in our community. We acknowledge the interconnectedness of climate action, equity, and justice and welcome all community voices so that together we can build a better future.

    23-24 School Year: D65 Sustainability Focus Areas

    22-23 School Year: D65 Sustainability Positive Impact

  • Highlights of our Sustainability and Climate Action Initiatives

    Click on the links below to learn more

  •  Lunchroom Composting and Recycling Station

    Lunchroom Composting and Recycling in ALL Our Schools

    Way to go, D65! As of November 2022, ALL District 65 schools are composting and recycling in our lunchrooms! Thank you to our lunchroom supervisors, custodians, nutrition services, teachers, school leaders, staff and our D65 climate action teams, who collectively make this a daily experience for our D65 students. Together, we’re doing our part to create a healthy planet!

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  • End of School Classroom and Locker Clean Out

    End of School Classroom and Locker Clean Out

    D65 hosted a 2023 End of School Clean Out from May 8 - June 9, 2023. Our D65 schools mobilized to gather leftover school supplies from classrooms and lockers that would typically go to the landfill. We encouraged sharing and reuse within our schools and D65 Families! Created 3 School Supply Swap Closets at Haven, Dawes & Lincolnwood. Remaining items were donated to Art Makers Outpost, SCARCE, Books4Cause, Better World Books and Goodwill.

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  •  Earth Month Activities

    Earth Month Activities

    In 2023, our students participated in a variety of Earth Month activities including classroom engagement, school climate action projects and the 10 Second Film Festival.

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  •  Planting Trees and Native Plants on School Grounds

    Planting Trees and Native Plants on School Grounds

    Our climate action and garden teams across the district have been busy planting new trees and native plants on our school grounds. It’s exciting to see our gardens growing and native plantings blooming!

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  •  LED Lighting Upgrades

    LED Lighting Upgrades

    LED Lighting upgrades and retrofittings are were completed in all D65 schools in the summer of 2022 and 2023.

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  •  Zeynep in front of recycling truck at Chute

    D65 and City of Evanston Recycling Art Design Competition

    The City of Evanston and District 65 asked middle schoolers to help illustrate why recycling plays a vital role in being good stewards for the planet. Congrats to Zeynep, an 8th Grader at Chute Middle School, who was named the winning illustrator!

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  •  Climate Clubs

    Climate Clubs

    Our middle schools Climate Clubs have been busy! Roots & Shoots is an after-school offering at Dewey. Click the link above to learn more!

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  •  Garden at schools across the district

    Gardening at Schools across the District

    Gardens at our schools across the district are growing beautiful local food. It’s an exciting opportunity to get our students into the garden to learn and discover hands on where our food comes from.

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  •  Electric School Bus

    Electric School Bus

    D65 received funding for one electric school bus for our Head Start Program.

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  •  Invention Convention at Nichols

    Invention Convention at Nichols

    Our 6th graders at Nichols Middle School completed a 2+ month invention challenge to develop climate solutions aligned with the City of Evanston's Climate Action and Resilience Plan.

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      Get Involved!

      • Join our Climate Action Community!

        We welcome all who are interested in learning more and helping us create a healthier, more sustainable and equitable future for our children.

        “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” ~ Ryunosuke Satoro

        D65 Sustainability Focus: 23-24 School Year

        D65 Guidance for Climate Action and Gardens at Schools: 23-24 School Year

        Ways you can help:

        • Join your school’s climate action team
        • Join your school’s garden team and participate in workdays
        • Support or start a climate club at your school
        • Plant new trees and native plants at your school


        Ready to get involved? Connect with us!

        • Join our D65 Climate Action Staff or School Garden Google Groups, email request to
        • Join our Caregiver / Parent Climate Action Community across D65, email and request to be added to the Google Group


      Meet Our Sustainability Coordinator

      • Karen BiretaKaren Bireta joined in May 2022 as the District’s first sustainability coordinator. She is excited to continue building our sustainability community in District 65 focusing on opportunities to heal & restore our planet.

        Karens approach is centered on:

        • Building relationships
        • Inviting in and elevating diversity of voices to our climate solutions
        • Collaboration
        • Grounded in Optimism

        Karen discovered her interest in the environment started while attending an Earth Day event in 5th grade. She’s a chemical and environmental engineer, bringing 15+ years of environmental and sustainability experience to the district.

        Karen loves walking by the Lake, gardening, yoga and meditation. She lives in Evanston with her husband, son, baby betta fish and freshwater snail.

        If you’re interested in joining our sustainability efforts, contact Karen at