Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Education, DEP, DCNR Honor Green Ribbon Schools For Environmental Sustainability Efforts In PA; Nominations Open

On September 20, the departments of Education, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources honored U.S. Department of Education
Green Ribbon Schools across Pennsylvania in recognition of their environmental sustainability efforts.

“Pennsylvania’s Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate a commitment to promoting environmental awareness in the classroom and teach students and communities how we are all responsible for protecting our environment,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “This mission is interconnected, and we applaud these schools for helping students actively engage in environmental sustainability practices and for raising awareness about the world around them.”

Spring-Ford Area School District, Royersford, Montgomery County, and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, were recognized as 2022 ED-GRS schools, and officials also honored awardees from 2019, 2020, and 2021 during the first in-person ceremony since the pandemic. 

The 2021 awardees were--

-- Hance Elementary School, Gibsonia, Allegheny County

-- Commonwealth Charter Academy, Harrisburg, Dauphin County

-- Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Northampton County

-- Central Cambria School District, Ebensburg, Cambria County (Pillar Tire Recognition)

The 2020 awardee was--

-- Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary School, Spring House, Montgomery County

The 2019 awardees were--

-- Eden Hall Upper Elementary School, Gibsonia, Allegheny County

-- State College Friends School, State College, Centre County

-- Millersville University, Millersville, Lancaster County

The schools also received recognition through the Commonwealth’s Pathways to Green Schools program.

“These schools are teaching the next generation to be god stewards of the environment and to protect our natural resources and public health,” said Acting DEP Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “Saving energy, reducing waste, and saving money are all interconnected, and these schools are setting the example for others to follow.”

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.

“Our goal is to ensure all schools in Pennsylvania are healthy and environmentally friendly places to learn and work,” said DCNR Deputy Secretary for Administration Michael Walsh. “Connecting with nature and spending time outdoors is an important part of the educational experience, and necessary for all children. We congratulate the schools being honored today and encourage educators and students across the commonwealth to build a path toward a more sustainable future.”

Awardees 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.

Nominations Open

The 2022-23 application for both the ED-GRS program and PA Pathways to Green School nomination cycle opens today. All applications must be submitted online to PDE, along with all supplemental materials, by 6:00 PM on Thursday, January 12, 2023. 

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools webpage.

[Posted: September 20, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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