June Green Strides Newsletter

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In the June 2019 Green Strides ...

In the News

Green Ribbon Schools Logo

Going for a 2020 Green Ribbon?

The 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) were announced on May 22.  See the list of selectees, a press release, and a report about these schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions that are achieving sustainability gains encompassing facilities and grounds, health and wellness, and environmental literacy.  Read this blog highlighting the actions of a few of the 2019 honorees.

If your institution has not already been recognized, now is a great time to begin preparing for the 2020 application cycle by using resources and programs available on Green Strides.  Read some common misconceptions about the award dispelled in a blog, and review frequently asked questions about all three award categories.  

For 2020 applications, interested colleges and universities may contact state higher education authorities, while preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and districts may contact state education agencies.  Schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions are eligible only if nominated by state authorities.  State education authorities may contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information.   >>>>

Meet the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

Get to know the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools in our annual Highlights Report.  Below, we spotlight just a few of the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees.

Carrisa Plains Greenhouse

Students at Carrisa Plains Elementary School cultivate plants in their greenhouse. They use an on-site commercial grade kitchen and monthly student-led market to prepare and sell what they grow.

Carrisa Plains Elementary School in Santa Margarita, California

Carrisa Plains Elementary School's on-site 30kW AC photovoltaic system meets 100 percent of the school’s electricity needs.  Each trimester, students perform a waste audit by gathering all waste materials generated over two days. Students and staff then sort and weigh the collected waste and discuss the implications of the amount of waste created. Students have 1:1 Chromebooks beginning in kindergarten; the use of paper at the school has decreased by 50 percent.  Safe Routes to School provided Carrisa Plains with grant funds to install a “bike garden” and purchase bikes so that students at this rural school could have the opportunity to ride during the week. Outside, Carissa Plains features a chicken coop, raised food beds, a greenhouse, two compost bins, fruit-bearing trees, native plants, a sensory garden, and an outdoor classroom. Five rain barrels collect water that is used to irrigate the garden’s plants, fruits, and vegetables. >>>>

Goshen Super Mileage Car

Real-world sustainability problems are identified by students, who, in turn, work to find solutions. For example, Goshen Community Schools high school students developed a super-mileage urban concept car.

Goshen Community Schools in Goshen, Indiana

In 2009, Goshen Community Schools (GCS) administrators implemented an energy conservation program and hired a full-time energy education specialist.  Each Goshen school building has received an ENERGY STAR award, and the district received an ENERGY STAR Leader recognition. This has resulted in an energy cost avoidance of over 25 percent, or $4,400,000.  The GCS custodians use eco-friendly cleaning solutions and microfiber cloths. The GCS Health & Wellness Center is staffed by a physician, nurse practitioner, nurses and medical assistants. Free, nutritious snacks are available after school hours to students in all grades attending any after school activity.  Goshen College athletes visit elementary schools to teach sports skills and nutrition.  Indiana University Dental School comes to Goshen schools yearly to check teeth and offer sealants to second and third graders.  Students have identified sediment from stormwater runoff as a cause of pollution in local waterways; designed prosthetics for a calf born with malformed hooves; and devised a solar-powered automatic chicken coop door.  High school students can travel to the Florida Keys to study marine biology over spring break. >>>>

Millersville University Net Zero Lombardo Welcome Center

Millersville University's net zero admissions building, the Lombardo Welcome Center, greets every visitor with a message of environmental stewardship.

Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania

Millersville University’s net zero admissions building features 528 solar panels on its roof; 20 geothermal wells, drilled 400 feet into the ground, to heat and cool the building; and several rain gardens that treat storm water on-site. The building’s furniture is made from 40,000 pounds of recycled materials and the landscape consists entirely of native plant species.  Millersville University recently completed a multi-year, $11.5 million project to upgrade its electrical infrastructure.  The university is a certified monarch waystation and wildlife habitat.  In addition to extensive recycling, Millersville composts yard waste and organic material from the dining hall on-site. Millersville’s Educational Foundations Department collaborated with the Biology Department and local community groups to establish a stream quality study station on campus.  A Chemistry Department faculty member researches techniques to reduce chemical use during experimentation.  Faculty and students in the Biology Department established an apiary on campus, and geography students completed surveys and analyses of sustainability competencies among their fellow students.  >>>>


Green Strides Design

The Green Strides Webinar Series Continues Through Summer


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, publicly available webinars related to school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov. (Note: All times listed are EDT.)

June 26, 12–12:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask the Expert (EPA)

June 26, 5–6 p.m.  Explore Moon to Mars:  Orion Ascent Abort 2 Flight Test (NASA)

June 27, 12–1 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 301 (EPA)

June 27, 1–2 p.m.  Pediatric Environmental Health (NIEHS)

June 27, 2–3 p.m.  A Sneak Peek at the 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference (Safe Routes to School)

June 27, 2–3 p.m.  Portfolio Manager Web Services (NASA)

June 27, 5–6 p.m.  Moon to Mars:  NASA STEM Geology-Meteorite Mysteries (NASA)

July 2, 1–2:15 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 101 (EPA)

July 2, 4–5 p.m.  Environmental Education and Indigenous Knowledge (NAAEE)

July 9, 1–2 p.m.  How to Track Waste and Materials Management in Portfolio Manager (EPA)

July 10, 12–12:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask the Expert (EPA)

July 10, 3–4 p.m.  Student Power to Fund Renewable Energy (AASHE)

July 10, 6–7 p.m.  Catch and Release:  Large Whale Entanglements and Response Efforts (National Marine Sanctuaries)

July 11, 1–2 p.m.  ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems (EPA)

July 16, 1–2 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 201 (EPA)

July 17, 3–4 p.m.  A Solar Power Purchase Agreement Designed for Positive Externalities (AASHE)

July 23, 1–2 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 301 (EPA)

July 24, 12–12:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask the Expert (EPA)

July 24, 5–6 p.m.  Human Spaceflight:  Train Like an Astronaut (NASA)

Resources and Opportunities


Apply to Present at the 2020 Green Schools Conference & Expo

Mark your calendars for the Green Schools Conference and Expo, which will be held March 2–4 in Portland, Oregon.  Session proposals are being accepted until July 22 that focus on what it means to be a green school: efforts to reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness, increase sustainability literacy, and address whole-school sustainability. This year, bonus points will be given to sessions that address the conference’s four priority topics for 2020: student leadership, career and technical education, climate change education, and equity and inclusion. >>>>

Green Apple Day of Service Logo

Plan a Green Apple Day of Service at Your School This Fall

A Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies, and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects.  Check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, and register your project online.  >>>>


Schlitz Audubon Nature Students fort building

Natural Start Conference July 31 – Aug. 3

Attend the nation’s largest professional event for teaching, administration, research, educator preparation, and advocacy in nature-based early learning. This year’s conference will take place July 31 – Aug. 3 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Take part in engaging presentations, experiential workshops, site tours, and professional networking, with nature-based early childhood professionals from around the country and beyond.  >>>>

Rock counting

Forest Kindergarten Conference Aug. 9–11

The second Annual American Forest Kindergarten Association Conference will be held Aug. 9–11 at Nature Nuts Forest School in Maple Valley, Washington. Learn valuable tools of the trade for best practices, business strategies, research, and advocacy from experts in the field, like keynote speaker Niki Buchan. Share successes and take advantage of networking opportunities with community gatherings throughout the conference. See examples of a program in action.  >>>>

A4LE Logo

Association for Learning Environments LearningSCAPES 2019 Oct. 4–6

LearningSCAPES is the conference for those who plan, design, equip, furnish, and maintain places where students learn. This year’s conference will be held Oct. 4–6 in Anaheim, California. Attend for groundbreaking educational sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, and a showcase of state-of-the-art tools that move learning into the future.  >>>>

NAAEE Conference Slider

North American Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference Oct. 16–19

The 48th North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) annual conference will be held in Lexington, Kentucky Oct. 16–19.  The theme for this year’s conference is Educating for a Just and Sustainable Future.  NAAEE convenes one of the leading annual conferences for environmental education professionals, designed to promote innovation, networking, learning, and dissemination of best practices.  The annual research symposium, held in advance of the conference, attracts new and established researchers to examine in-progress environmental education research and promote dialogue between researchers and practitioners.  >>>>

ED Spaces 2019

EDspaces 2019 Oct. 23–25

EDspaces is the gathering place for architects, dealers, pre-k–12 schools, colleges and universities, independent manufacturers representatives, exhibitors, and corporations to learn about trends and experience the latest products and services to enhance student learning. This year’s conference will be held Oct. 23–25 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  >>>>

AASHE 2019 Conference Slider

AASHE 2019 Conference is Oct. 27–30

The 2019 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference is Oct. 27–30 in Spokane, Washinington.  It is the largest stage in North America to exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations, and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities. With a theme of Co-Creating a Sustainable Economy, this year's conference seeks to showcase and strengthen higher education’s contributions to the movement for a sustainable economy.  >>>>

Safe Routes to School Logo

Safe Routes to School Conference Nov. 12–14

The 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference will be held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown from Nov. 12–14. Join hundreds of active transportation and public health advocates and practitioners from across the country for valuable networking, sharing best practices, and exploring one of Florida’s most vibrant and active cities.  >>>>

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
If you received a forwarded newsletter, sign up to receive us directly next month.