Project trains parents to lead sustainability initiatives in Oregon schools.

COURTESY PHOTO  - Amy Lyons HiggsThe Center for Earth Leadership, a Portland-based environmental advocacy nonprofit, is changing its name and hiring new leaders.

The organization will henceforth be called the Eco-School Network, one of the Center for Earth Leadership's most effective and promising programs, said founder Jeanne Roy.

Amy Lyons Higgs has been named fulltime executive director of the Eco-School Network, which promotes parent-led, grass-roots sustainability projects in schools in Northwest Oregon. In addition, a program assistant will be hired.

Roy said she'll remain on the board of the renamed nonprofit.

The network works with parents and teachers to lead changes in school practices, and helps students promote environmental responsibility.

Parents lead projects related to waste, energy, transportation, gardens, school grounds and student activities. To date, the project has trained teachers and parents from 125 Oregon schools, who have collectively organized more than 300 sustainability initiatives.

Higgs has been been an active member of the Eco-School Network and a co-leader of its trainings. She'll move up to be fulltime executive director.

Higgs previously launched an international network of environmental educators for Conservation International, and consusted to schools working on sustainability.

"I've seen the Eco-School Network shifting the needle toward sustainability in schools, and creating a positive ripple effect in the schools and community," Higgs said in a prepared statement. "I can't wait to advance the good work of parents and teachers."

Roy said a new nonprofit will be formed to continue other programs associated with the Center for Earth Leadership, which will not compete with the Eco-School Network for grant applications and members.

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