Edison: Blue and Gold is going green


Some of the participants got drenched on the way in, there was a little water on the gym floor, and the barbecue had to be moved inside; but hundreds of people made it to the Edison High School Gymnasium for the flagship event in Edison’s Green Community Schools initiative.

The event included performances by the Edison High School Concert Band, the Edison Alumni Band and the Northeast Middle School Band. Environmental educator Jayni Chase; her husband, actor Chevy Chase; and school and local officials spoke to the group about the importance of Edison’s work to make the school’s operation more environment-friendly, and the students and staff better environment stewards.

Jayni and Chevy Chase at Edison High for Green Schools event

Photo: Chevy Chase briefly directed the Edison Alumni Band.

Jayni Chase is a board member for the MGR Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that funds and coordinates the Green Community School program. Edison and Al Raby High School in Chicago are the first schools in the program.

The foundation provides funding for Edison’s green resources coordinator, Ashley Mueller, for three to five years.

MGR’s goal for the program, Mueller said, is to “put the school in the center of the green community.”

For now, she says, that means providing consultation, coordinating out-of-school environmental activities for students, building awareness of environmental issues, and helping students with service learning projects and internships. It also includes building staff awareness on environmentally-friendly ways to handle compostable and recyclable materials.

Already, she said, the school has conducted a “mini-audit” and found that students have identified “food and jobs” as areas where the school can be more environmentally friendly.

Jayni and Chevy Chase at Edison High for Green Schools event

Edison Principal Carla Steinbach, who listed the efforts underway to be environmentally friendly, looked on as the Northeast Royalty greeted Jayni and Chevy Chase.

She said she expects future activities to include field trips, urban farming, cooking, and using all compostable materials for school events and meetings.

While she and the foundation can provide information and coordination, real success involves “having change come from the bottom up.”

For more information about Jayni Chase, the MGR Foundation and Edison’s Green Community Schools initiative, use these links:


Jayni Chase-Center for Environmental Education information