On April 22, the U.S. Department of Education named the 2015 Green Ribbon Schools and District and Postsecondary Sustainability honorees. Among the list were four schools, one school district and one university from Minnesota: City of Lakes Waldorf School, Minneapolis; Harambee Community Cultures/Environmental Science School, Maplewood; Redtail Ridge Elementary School, Savage; Rockford Middle School-Center for Environmental Studies, Rockford; University of Minnesota-Morris, Morris; and the West St Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School District 197, Mendota Heights.
“What great news to celebrate on Earth Day! I want to congratulate all of these schools, districts and post-secondary institutions for their incredible efforts in environmental education,” Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said. “These students are learning valuable skills that will make them leaders in the conservation and preservation of our natural environment for generations to come.”
In total, 58 schools and 14 districts from across the nation were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. In addition, 9 colleges and universities were honored for the Postsecondary Sustainability Award.
Schools are selected by an application process that requires the schools to document their accomplishments in each of the three pillars. The Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education use panels of experts to evaluate the applications and determine state finalists. The applications are evaluated by a national panel to select the awardees.