Celebrating the 2018 Honorees

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In the September Green Strides...

In the News

Frank Brogan at ED-GRS ceremony
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan offers heartfelt remarks to the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees.

ED Honors 2018 School, District, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees in D.C.

On Sept. 19, the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees received accolades at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. for their sustainable, healthy facilities; wellness practices; and sustainability learning.  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrator Timothy Gallaudet, Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan, Director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy James L. Elder Jr., and Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Anisa Heming congratulated the awardees.

You can view video and photos from the ceremony, and read the press release and the ED-GRS Director’s closing remarks.  We invite you to share your #EDGRSCeremony photos and impressions with us on Twitter (EDGreenRibbon).

Thank You Sponsors

Thank You, Sponsors!

Thanks to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for providing a wonderful venue at the Department of Commerce and to the Center for Green Schools for generously offering the annual reception. Thanks also to the following partners who offer activities: the Department of Energy, National Park Service, and ED's Office of Non-Public Education.  Finally, ED offers its sincerest appreciation to state education agency personnel who spearhead award selection in each state.

Green Ribbon Schools Logo

Join Us on the 2018 Green Strides Tour in Missouri

ED-GRS and its Green Strides outreach initiative share promising practices and resources in the areas of safe, healthy, and sustainable school environments; nutrition and outdoor physical activity; and environmental education.  As part of its Green Strides outreach, ED conducts an annual tour to spotlight the work of past and present honorees, and bring more attention to their practices.  This year’s tour will take place Oct. 24–25 in St. Louis, Missouri-area schools, with the theme "Living School Grounds."  See the full schedule and register to attend.   >>>>


EPA Launches the Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water Grant

The new Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water Grant assists local education agencies in voluntary testing for lead contamination in drinking water at schools and child care programs. The grant program is designed to reduce exposure of children to lead in drinking water at schools and child care facilities, utilizing the EPA’s 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools guidance, or equivalent state program.  The non-competitive grant will include $20 million in funding focused on lead testing in schools and child care programs, with a set-aside of $1.2 million for tribal education authorities.  Interested states are being asked to submit letters of intent to EPA by January 11, 2019 identifying the specific state agency that will administer the program.  >>>>. 

Meet the 2018 ED-GRS Awardees

Congratulations to the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees.  View the honorees and read about their work on the Green Strides website and ED awards page.  Three of the honorees are spotlighted below.  

Lanier VA
Lanier Middle School students, teachers, and parents plant wild celery in the Potomac River in spring 2017, after growing these grasses in school science labs throughout the winter and transporting them to Mason Neck Park.

Lanier Middle School, Fairfax, Virginia

Lanier Middle School’s (LMS’s) recent building renovation included the installation of efficiency features, such as increased insulation, automatic shut-off water fixtures, motion sensor lights, temperature controls, tinted windows with low-E glass, high-efficiency lighting ballasts, and a boiler economiser on rooftop units.  In 2015, LMS earned an ENERGY STAR certification, and the school has saved over $58,000 from conservation measures. The building’s design focuses on improving student achievement by reducing ambient noise, optimizing classroom acoustics, maximizing natural lighting, and improving air quality.  The outdoor living classroom includes a certified wildlife habitat; vernal pool; dry bed stream; and pollinator, vegetable, and herb gardens—as well as a successful strawberry patch.  All seventh-graders participate in a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience at the local stream, where they engage in water quality testing.  Students are actively engaged in implementing stewardship projects, such as building a bioretention cell and rain gardens; installing rain barrels, water bottle refilling stations and a hybrid solar panel/wind turbine unit; implementing schoolwide recycling; and overseeing a food sharing drive.   >>>>

Warwick HS
Every year, for over 10 years, Warwick Valley High School students in environmental science courses collect samples from a local creek, record physical and chemical parameters, and make scientific conclusions based on the evidence.

Warwick Valley High School, Warwick, New York

Warwick Valley High School has received grants and technical support from the National Environmental Education Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation to conduct environmental education and research.  Classes such as Conservation, Wildlife, and Land Management; Landscape Design; Floral Design; and Land, Food, and People incorporate sustainability themes.  More than 35 field trips are scheduled each year and most have an environmental focus.  The high school has an active Future Farmers of America (FFA), as well as Environmental Club, Green Team, and Envirothon Team. The cafeteria has an eco-digester that processes food waste.  Warwick has improved energy efficiency through enhanced monitoring of energy usage, installing LED lighting, and using software that automatically powers down computers.   The parking lot features speed bumps that divert water from vehicles and buildings into a rain garden on the school property and all landscaping is regionally appropriate.  The meals prepared at Warwick Valley High School include organic produce sourced from local farmers and the school’s own greenhouse.  The high school offers a ropes course, rock-climbing wall, and orienteering.  >>>>

Superior Schools
In 2017, Superior School District hosted a camp dedicated entirely to teaching students about the lost culinary art of preserving. Each classroom has its own raised bed.

Superior School District, Superior, Montana

Superior School District (SSD) has installed recycled shredded tires as cushioning under the playground equipment at the elementary school, as well as solar panels on both the elementary and high school buildings.  SSD participates in a “Harvest of the Month” produce feature and provides a salad bar every day.  A walking club each spring prepares students for the annual fun run, a five-kilometer walk/run hosted by rotating schools in Mineral County.  The Superior Ranger District in Montana’s Lolo National Forest supports a huge part of the curriculum, providing environmental education throughout the year for all classes to enforce the importance of responsible forest, trail, and land use, and  fire safety.  These lessons, along with integrated community service, are a major part of school and after-school programs.  SSD has established school gardens and outdoor classrooms.  2018 will mark the 50th consecutive year that the U.S.  Forest Service and SSD have partnered to take the sixth grade class to the U.S.  Forest Service Savenac Tree Nursery for a week of education, experiments, and intense hands-on learning.  Pond study, ecology, compass training, orienteering, insect studies, tree measuring, fungus investigation, bow-and-arrow safety and shooting, and responsible ATV use are just a few of the offerings during that week.  >>>>

Resources and Opportunities


Registration for EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge Opens in September

The Campus RainWorks Challenge engages postsecondary students to foster a dialogue about stormwater management and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices. Student teams design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus that effectively manages stormwater pollution while benefiting the campus community and the environment. To enter the challenge, participating teams must email their entries to RainWorks@epa.gov by Dec. 14.  >>>>

Every Kid in A Park Logo

Every Kid in a Park Continues for Fourth Year

Every Kid in a Park encourages stewardship of public lands by introducing children and underserved communities to park sites, forests, and seashores, as well as recreational opportunities within these spaces.  The program provides free passes to fourth-graders and their accompanying families to access hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for a year. To obtain a pass, a fourth-grader should get an adult’s permission, and then visit www.everykidinapark.gov to complete an educational activity, and download and print the paper pass voucher.  Some state parks are also honoring the pass>>>>


Green Strides Design

The Green Strides Webinar Series Continues Through the Fall

The Green Strides Webinar Series has promoted over 1,000 sessions that provide free tools to reduce schools' environmental impact and costs, improve health and wellness, and teach effective environmental education.  Consult the webinar calendar, and submit suggestions for listing additional free, publically available webinars related to school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov. (Note: All times listed are EST.)

Sept. 27, 1–2:30 p.m.  IAQ Preventive Maintenance:  Key Strategies for Training Staff and Communicating Success (EPA)

Sept. 28, 2–3 p.m.  Learn from the Leaders:  Green Cleaning is a Journey (Green Clean Schools)

Oct. 2, 6:30–7:30 p.m.  Deep Space Atomic Clock (NASA)

Oct.3, 6:30–7:30 p.m.  James Webb Space Telescope (NASA)

Oct.. 4, 6:30–7:30 p.m.  Moon to Mars – SLS (Space Launch System) Engineering (NASA)

Oct. 9, 5–6 p.m.  NASA Space Place Cross Curriculum STEM Engagement (NASA)

Oct. 11, 2018, 3–4 p.m.  Building Strong School Nutrition Programs in Charter Schools (FRAC)

Oct. 11, 5–6 p.m.  Ice in the Solar System (NASA)

Oct. 12, 2–3 p.m.  10-Minute Walk Planning and Technical Assistance Grant Opportunity (NRPA)

Oct. 15, 2–3 p.m.  Time Out! Let’s Talk About Sports Safety (NRPA)

Oct. 16, 6:30–7:30 p.m.  Hubble Space Telescope (NASA)

Oct. 17, 1–2 p.m.  Minimizing Water Use in Mechanical/HVAC Systems (EPA)

Oct. 17, 3–4:20 p.m.  Making the Shift to Climate-Friendly Food Service (AASHE)

Oct. 17, 6–7 p.m.  Understanding Ocean Acidification (National Marine Sanctuaries)

Oct. 17, 7:30–8:30 p.m.  Why Learn about Insects? (Green Teacher)

Oct. 22, 6:30–7:30 p.m.  Moon to Mars  - Spacecraft Structures (NASA)

Oct. 22, 7:30–8:30 p.m.  Feeding Plants to Feed the World (Green Teacher)

Oct. 24, 3–4 p.m.  Student Sustainability Committee (AASHE)


National Farm To School Month Logo

October is National Farm to School Month…

National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress to symbolize the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and educate children about the origins of food.  The National Farm to School Network has developed resources and activities to promote Farm to School Month in schools, communities, and media outlets. >>>>

AASHE logo

…And Also Campus Sustainability Month

Campus Sustainability Month (CSM) is a celebration of sustainability in higher education.  During October, colleges and universities organize events on campus and elsewhere to engage and inspire incoming students and other campus stakeholders to become sustainability change agents.  Events include teach ins, sustainability pledge-drives, zero energy concerts, waste audits, green sporting events, letter writing campaigns, and service projects.  >>>>

Green Clean Schools Image from HSC

Green Clean Schools ISSA/INTERCLEAN Educational Facilities Track Is Oct. 29–30  in Dallas, Texas

This two-day program will provide facility directors at schools and universities and their teams with the knowledge and tools necessary to support healthier, safer cleaning programs that promote learning. Together with leaders in the field of green cleaning in schools, participants will examine Healthy Schools Campaign’s "5 Steps to Green Cleaning in Schools," a guide to healthier cleaning in educational facilities, through a combination of case studies, deep dives into practical applications, and panel presentations focused on new and emerging trends in the field of green cleaning in schools. >>>>

A4LE Logo

LearningSCAPES 2018 Is Nov. 1–4 in Chicago, Illinois

Association for Learning Environments’ mission is to connect those whose passion is to create the best possible physical learning spaces for  encouraging innovation, critical thinking, collaborative teamwork, and other skills in order to empower students to succeed in a rapidly changing world.  Its LearningSCAPES 2018 conference includes educational sessions, keynotes, and a showcase of state-of-the-art tools that move learning into the future through thoughtful school facilities.  >>>>

EDSpaces 2018 Logo

EDspaces Is Nov. 7–9 

in Tampa, Florida

EDspaces is the gathering place for architects, facility planners, designers, administrators, and dealers to learn about trends and experience the latest products and services to enhance student learning through advanced school facilities.  Leaders from school districts and colleges, architects, interior designers, dealers, and exhibitors collaborate in the transformation of physical educational environments.   >>>>

Greenbuild 2018 Logo

Greenbuild 2018 To Be Held Nov. 14–16 in Chicago, Illinois

Greenbuild is the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. It features three days of inspiring speakers, invaluable networking opportunities, industry showcases, LEED workshops, and tours of the host city's green buildings.  >>>>

Connect With Green Strides

Green Strides: Resources for School Facilities, Health, and Environment
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
Facebook: @EDGreenRibbonSchools
Twitter: @EDGreenRibbon
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