Robert Redford, Annise Parker And Terry Grier Green Up Houston Schools

Spurred on by Robert Redford, Mayor Annise Parker and HISD superintendent Terry Grier announced today a joint effort to get Houston and its schools greener and more environmentally friendly.

The two officials attended a summit last month at Redford's Utah headquarters; the Redford Center is pushing a Green Schools Initiative.

"This meeting was inspirational," the actor said at the time, "but more than that, I am thrilled that the dialogue that began here at Sundance will result in tangible action steps that these mayors and superintendents will be able to take back to their communities."

And it did, at least in Houston. And at least to some degree.

The agenda announced by Parker and Grier isn't exactly earthshaking, but as with most things environmental in Houston, progress comes in small steps.

The two announced these "possible areas of cooperation and initiatives":

• Information sharing about green practices through the Mayor's Director of Sustainability

• More common gardens for initiatives such as SPARK parks

• Convene local superintendents for a local green schools summit

If you're discussing "possible" areas of action, that list doesn't seem too ambitious, but Greir and Parker were enthusiastic.

"We look forward to building on our existing efforts and implementing new sustainability initiatives through this partnership with the City of Houston," Grier said. "HISD has many opportunities to showcase how green initiatives can help save energy and costs while providing yet another learning experience for our teachers, students and staff."

"The City of Houston and HISD both have many resources that can be of use to one another," Parker said. "The City of Houston is committed to applying any available resources to help our schools, especially those that can provide our children with a green, sustainable environment."

A comprehensive report by the American Institute of Architects, examining ideas generated by the Sundance conference, is expected to be released next year.

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