Environmental Education in Wisconsin

Upcoming Events

We will be offering additional Green & Healthy Schools curriculum workshops this spring focused on gardening, STEM, and more! Watch for details at GHSWisconsin.org.

5th Annual No Teacher Left Inside Summer Institute - June 23-27, 2014, Conserve School, Land O' Lakes, WI

View Events for the Previous 12 Months

Latest News

Green Ribbon Awards

Wisconsin is once again tops in the federal Green Ribbon Schools award program. Four schools and one school district earned recognition in the U.S. Department of Education program. For the second year in a row, that’s more winners from Wisconsin than any other state.

“Any school that earns this designation has worked hard over the long haul to find sustainable ways of improving environmental impacts, monetary costs, and the health of students and staff,” State Superintendent Tony Evers said in congratulating the five winners.

They are:                   

The winners will be invited to recognition and professional development events in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., this summer and fall.

The federal Green Ribbon program recognizes the often-intertwined achievements of saving energy, reducing costs, fostering health and wellness, and providing effective environmental and sustainability education.

Wisconsin’s honorees were nominated by the Department of Public Instruction after attaining the highest level of achievement in the state’s Green and Healthy Schools program.


Environmental education is a lifelong learning process that leads to an informed and involved citizenry having the creative problem-solving skills, scientific and social literacy, ethical awareness and sensitivity for the relationship between humans and the environment, and commitment to engage in responsible individual and cooperative actions. By these actions, environmentally literate citizens will help ensure an ecologically and economically sustainable environment (Wisconsin Environmental Education Board). Other definitions of environmental education can be found on the WAEE web site.

Environmental education is required in Wisconsin schools. State law requires that every school district develop and implement a kindergarten through grade 12 sequential curriculum plan. In addition, environmental education objectives and activities shall be integrated into the kindergarten through grade 12 sequential curriculum plans, with the greatest emphasis in art, health, science and social studies education [see Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 8.01(2)(k]. Teachers must also be prepared to teach environmental education and those with licenses in agriculture, early childhood, middle childhood to early adolescent, science and social studies must demonstrate knowledge and understanding in environmental education including the conservation of natural resources. [PI 34.15(4)(b)]


Environmental Education in Wisconsin

Victoria Rydberg, WI DPI Environmental Education Consultant
(608) 266-0419


Wisconsin Environmental Education News and Updates Email List

Professional Development Calendar and Events for Environmental Education



General Information


Professional Organizations



About Environmental Education


Green Ribbon Schools


Green & Healthy Schools

Cover of the Environmental Literacy PlanWisconsin's Plan to Advance Education for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability in PK-12 Schools

Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Environmental Education

PI 8.01 Curriculum Planning (Third page K.1.a and 6.b)

PI 34.15 4(b) Teacher Preparation Regarding Environmental Education

Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education (WAEE)

Wisconsin Green Schools Network (WGSN)

North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)

Green Schools National Network

Wisconsin-based Resources:

EEinWisconsin.org - the online guide to Environmental Education in Wisconsin.

Children’s Cooperative Book Center Eco-reading List



Nature Net

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies



UW Extension, Environmental Resources Center (ERC)

UW-Sea Grant Institute

Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE)

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)

Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB)

Green and Healthy Schools Wisconsin (GHS)

Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP)

Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Education Program (LEAF)

Wisconsin State Herbarium

View more resources


For questions about this information, contact Victoria Rydberg (608)266-0419

For questions about environmental science, contact Shelley Lee (608)266-3319