Green Ribbon Schools


Wisconsin will participate in the 2013-14 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program. Schools who wish to be considered for the 2013 Green Ribbon recognition, must submit the online application by December 20, 2013. The online application is available here. Use the resources available at and from U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Program to start making your school greener and healthier!

The online application tool is designed to document achievement as well as provide additional ideas for implementation. Both quantitative and qualitative questions will help share your school's story. You can work on the application over time and not all questions need to be answered. You will be provided with a unique application URL that you can share with multiple people in the school community to help complete the application.

School districts can apply to be recognized with a District Sustainability Award--simply use the same application, but answer the questions from a district perspective and be sure to write the name of the school district in the "School Name" section. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Victoria Rydberg at or 608-266-0419. Please note, this recognition is for Green Ribbon only, not Green & Healthy Schools. 

Introduction: The U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) award is intended to recognize those schools taking a comprehensive approach to greening their school. A comprehensive approach incorporates and integrates environmental learning with maximizing positive environmental and health impacts. The award criteria are intended to focus on measurable outcomes wherever possible.

Background: Application reviews will be based on the applicant's demonstrated progress towards each of the three ED-GRS goals:

I. Reduced Environmental Impact and Costs

  • Reduced or eliminated greenhouse gas emissions, using an energy audit or emissions inventory and reduction plan, cost-effective energy efficiency improvements, conservation measures, and/or and on-site renewable energy and/or purchase of green power;
  • Improved water quality, efficiency, and conservation;
  • Reduced solid and hazardous waste production through increased recycling, reduced consumption, and improved management, reduction, or elimination of hazardous waste; and
  • Expanded use of alternative transportation, through active promotion of locally-available, energy-efficient options and implementation of alternative transportation supportive projects and policies.

II. Improved Health and Wellness

  • An integrated school environmental health program based on an operations and facility-wide environmental management system that considers student, visitor and staff health and safety in all practices related to design, construction, renovation, operations, and maintenance of schools and grounds; and
  • High standards of nutrition, fitness, and quantity of quality outdoor time for both students and staff.

III. Effective Environmental and Sustainability Education

  • Interdisciplinary learning about the key relationships between dynamic environmental, energy and human systems;
  • Use of the environment and sustainability to develop STEM content knowledge and thinking skills to prepare graduates for the 21st century technology-driven economy; and
  • Development of civic engagement knowledge and skills, and students' application of these to address sustainability and environmental issues in their community.


Return to Environmental Education. 


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