MADISON — The U.S. Department of Education today announced that five Wisconsin schools are among those named 2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees.
The honor recognizes schools, districts, and institutions of higher education that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff, and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.
“School leadership, staff, and students at these schools have worked together to provide safe and healthy environments that benefit learning and are good for our planet,” State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly said. “Students today are passionate about sustainability. When we provide opportunities for students to engage in hands-on, place-based learning that supports personal, community, and planetary health, everybody wins.”
The Wisconsin schools named 2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are:
- Escuela Verde, Milwaukee
- A. E. Burdick School, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Schools
- Golda Meir School, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Schools
- Cambridge Elementary School, Cambridge, School District of Cambridge
- Washington Island School, Washington Island, Washington Island School District
In Milwaukee, A. E. Burdick School and Golda Meir School both worked with the ReFlo, a nonprofit organization, to implement schoolyard redevelopment projects. These projects removed over 36,000 square feet of impervious surface between the two schools and added features to reduce stormwater runoff, such as porous engineered wood chip surfacing, stormwater trees, native landscaping, bioswales, and above ground and underground cisterns. Students at Golda Meir designed and created three different apps to educate the community about the playground and sustainability, recycling, and to support students dealing with emotional trauma.
Solar installations at Escuela Verde, Cambridge Elementary, and Washington Island School allow for reduced dependence on traditional energy sources. At all five schools, students are actively engaged in practices that support sustainability and have many opportunities to advance environmental literacy.
Across the country, 27 schools, five districts, and four postsecondary institutions are being honored as part of the program. The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 19 states. Thirty-nine schools, districts, and early learning centers in Wisconsin have been honored since the program began in 2012. Past honorees can be viewed here on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s website. For more information on the program, and for a full list of schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, visit the program’s website here.