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Westside Union School District wins Environmental Award

 Local school district recognized for air quality stewardship

September 14, 2020

For further information, contact:

Bret Banks, Executive Director, (661) 723-8070

ANTELOPE VALLEY — The Westside Union School District (WUSD) is leading by example.

They’ve transitioned the grounds maintenance equipment on all 12 of their campuses from fossil fuel-powered lawn and garden equipment to battery electric equipment. It’s this enormous effort that’s earned WUSD this year’s William J. Pete Knight Achievement In Reducing Emissions (AIRE) Award by the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD).

AVAQMD presents the AIRE Award annually AVAQMD to local businesses, organizations or individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the prevention and/or control of air pollution within the Antelope Valley.

“It’s great to see one of our local school districts take the leadership opportunity to eliminate a concentrated source of air pollution that will directly benefit the health of the students, staff and visitors to WUSD campuses,” said Marvin Crist, Chairman of the AVAQMD Governing Board. “Congratulations to Westside Union School District for their leadership in moving toward a sustainable alternative for their facilities ground maintenance.”

WUSD spent months testing various types and models of battery electric equipment to compare efficiency, reliability, quality and resilience. As a result, the WUSD is the nation’s first Green Zone K-8 school district.

By replacing gas-powered equipment and with electric versions, the WUSD is eliminating approximately 52 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, more than 17 tons of criteria pollutant emissions along with smaller amounts of fine particulate pollution and a variety of toxic air emissions annually from WUSD and the Antelope Valley environment. An added benefit to the equipment exchange is a significant reduction in noise during the operation of the quieter electric machines.

AVAQMD has various grant programs to assist Antelope Valley homeowners and commercial landscapers with the conversion from fossil-fueled-powered lawn and garden equipment to clean battery electric alternatives. Visit the AVAQMD web site at or call 661-723-8070 for more information.

The AIRE Award will be presented during the AVAQMD’s Governing Board meeting of Tuesday, September 15 at 10 a.m. A short presentation will take place at the beginning of the meeting via Zoom. AVAQMD staff will provide you the Zoom meeting information that will allow you to participate from an alternate location.

For more information on up-to-date air quality information please visit our website at or You can also sign up for forecasts and text alerts at

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