Harrisburg, PA — In an effort to boost environmental preservation and strengthen environmental education in the commonwealth, the Wolf Administration is encouraging schools and colleges to apply for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) and the PA Pathways to Green Schools recognition awards.
“Pennsylvania’s Green Ribbon Schools serve as a model for teaching the value of protecting our planet through hands-on classroom experiences and real-world application,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Noe Ortega. “I encourage schools, school districts and colleges to apply to a become nationally recognized Green Ribbon School and show off their great work to promote conservation and environmental stewardship.”
All public, charter, and private schools, career and technical centers, and educational facilities operated by intermediate units, as well as institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.
Applications must be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) by January 12, 2022. More information can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.
PDE and the U.S. Department of Education select and announce awardees in the spring of each year.
ED-GRS nominees must show progress in the following areas: reducing environmental impacts, such as waste, water, greenhouse gases, and transportation; improving health and wellness with consideration to air quality, lighting, thermal comfort, school nutrition, and outdoor physical activity; and offering effective environmental and sustainability education that emphasizes hands-on, real-world learning, civic engagement, STEM connections, and green career preparation.
“The forward-thinking environmental values of Green Ribbon Schools demonstrates environmental and education leadership to all districts in the commonwealth,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Green Ribbon Schools also represent community and serve as a beacon of progress for future generations.”
Since 2011, the ED-GRS program has nominated schools, districts, and institutions of higher education across the country for their dedication to reducing environmental impact and cost, improving health and wellness of schools, and providing environmental education to students. Nationally, 30 schools, five districts, and five postsecondary institutions were named Green Ribbon Schools in 2021.
“Conservation is our top mission at DCNR, which is why we encourage Pennsylvania schools to apply for this distinct recognition aimed at promoting sustainability, STEM knowledge, and improving the health and wellness of students and staff through outdoor activities,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “The positive environmental stewardship the selected awardees represent is an example to other schools and students across the commonwealth that we must continue to uplift.”
For more information on U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.