August Green Strides Newsletter

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In the August Green Strides...

In the News

Oak Harbor tree measuring

Join us on the 2019 Green Strides Tour

Year round, 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 fitness; and environmental education.  Each fall, we have the pleasure of visiting school communities.  This year, the Green Strides Tour will return to the state of Washington for the first time since 2013, with the theme Whole Child, Whole School Sustainability.  See the October 28–30 tour schedule and join us! 

Green Ribbon Schools Logo

Watch the 2019 Ceremony Live

The 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) were announced on May 22.  See the list of selectees 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.  Watch them receive their awards live on Youtube, Twitter, or Facebook on September 25, at 2 p.m. EDT.

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.   >>>>

Green Strides Resources

Have You Seen Green Strides Lately? 

Every week, through the generous efforts of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, new resources are added to Green Strides, including district sustainability policies, reports, and plans that you can use as models for your own school or district.  Visit the Green Strides school sustainability resource hub today!

Get to Know 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.

Forest Lake Area High School, Forest Lake, Minnesota

Forest Lake High School native prairie planting

At Forest Lake Area High School in Minnesota, environmental education, integrated into both required and elective courses, focuses on human interaction with Earth’s four spheres (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere).

One thousand five hundred solar panels on the rooftop of Forest Lake High School save the school district approximately $70,000 per year.  A stormwater reuse project includes retention ponds for water storage before filtration and irrigation onto athletic fields.  Curriculum integrates the technology and water conservation concepts into biology, agriculture, and earth and space science courses.  The cafeteria staff composts approximately 75 gallons per week of leftover and unusable food through the Food to Hogs program.  Student volunteer hours, measured through an online recording system and organized by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, surpassed 3,000 hours in the fall of 2018.  Physical education offers two outdoor education courses: The fall and spring course includes bicycling, canoeing, water safety, and orienteering; and the winter season includes skiing, snow caving, winter survival, and broomball.  Other courses include fish and wildlife management, natural resources science, alternative energies, animal science, environmental science, and meteorology. 

Warwick Valley Middle School, Warwick, New York

Warwick Valley Middle School

On the Warwick Valley Central School District’s grounds is a 8800-panel solar field that generates enough energy for the whole district.

Each eighth-grader at Warwick Valley Middle School is required to participate in 20 full weeks of sustainability education, which provides a foundation for developing environmentally and socially conscious citizens. As these students progress through middle school, they can opt to take such classes as Energy and the Environment and Green Architecture. The school’s newly constructed outdoor classroom is a place that provides the perfect setting for science experiments and observations, but also a setting to promote creative thought, expression, contemplation, and appreciation of the planet. Fifth-grade students spend time at the Greenkill Outdoor Education Center each autumn, where they can take nature hikes, explore water and forest ecology, and participate in team-building activities.  Warwick Valley Middle School educators receive training and guidance from the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation and Sustainable Warwick.

Brookstown Middle School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Brookstown Aquaponics

At Brookstown Middle School, the aquaponics class oversees all water quality testing, data recording, and calculations.

During the 2017-2018 school year, students at Brookstown Middle School harvested 21 different types of lettuce from the aquaponics program, resulting in over 120 pounds of lettuce grown and served to students in the BMS school cafeteria, guests at school functions, school board members, and East Baton Rouge Parish staff and faculty members.  Students research and select the crops, water quality, effects of pollution, plant nutrition, fish nutrition and health, growing mediums, and components of a successful aquaponics system.  The Junior Cadet Corps participates in community cleaning projects and environmental careers in the military are an area of focus. The speech course integrates environmental debates, and the marketing class highlights how companies are addressing sustainability issues when advertising.   


Green Strides Design

The Green Strides Webinar Series Continues This 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, publicly available webinars related to school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to (Note: All times listed are EDT.)

August 28, 3–4 p.m.  Student Power to Fund Renewable Energy: A New Take on the Solar Power Purchase Agreement (AASHE)

August 29, 2–3 p.m.  International Coastal Cleanup (National Wildlife Federation)

August 29, 6–7 p.m.  Moon to Mars:  Mission and Resources Overview (NASA)

September 4, 12–1 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask the Expert (EPA)

September 4, 2–3 p.m.  Celebrating Diversity is not Enough:  Teaching Social Justice (AASHE)

September 5, 1–2 p.m.  How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR (EPA)

September 5, 1–2 p.m.  Building Our Future:  Engaging and Empowering Youth in Vision Zero (Safe Routes Partnership)

September 10, 1–2 p.m.  A Look at the 2019 Safe Routes to School Program Census (Safe Routes Partnership)

September 11, 1–2:15 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 101 (EPA)

September 11, 2–3 p.m.  Community Outreach Strategies for Health (America Walks)

September 11, 3–4 p.m.  Implementing Energy Efficiency through Sub-meters (AASHE)

September 12, 1–2 p.m.  Discovering Energy Savings with Treasure Hunts (EPA)

September 12, 4–5 p.m.  Get Schools Cooking 2019 Informational Webinar (The Lunch Box)

September 18, 12–1 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask the Expert (EPA)

September 18, 2–3 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 201 (EPA)

September 18, 3–4 p.m.  Sustainability Master Planning from All Perspectives:  Social, Environmental, and Economic (AASHE)

September 19, 1–2 p.m.  Ten Things to Know about the Afterschool Meal Program (Food Research & Action Center)


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. 

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.  >>>>

HSC Green Cleaning

Attend the Green Clean Schools ISSA/INTERCLEAN Educational Facilities Track Nov. 18– 19

This two-day program in Las Vegas, Nevada provides facility directors at schools and universities and their teams with the knowledge and tools necessary to support healthier, safer cleaning programs that promote learning. Attendees will participate in immersive, interactive workshops and panel discussions followed by networking opportunities and exclusive access to ISSA’s New Attendee Breakfast and trade show floor orientation session.

Caesar Rodney School Districtcatching aquatic insects

At 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee Caesar Rodney School District, in Wyoming, Delaware, students catch aquatic insects.

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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