School District 197 named a 2015 U.S. Dept. of Education Green Ribbon District
Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce that West St. Paul – Mendota Heights – Eagan Area Schools (District 197), in Mendota Heights, Minnesota is among the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardees.
“We are very proud to be named a Green Ribbon School District by the U.S. Department of Education,” said Superintendent Nancy Allen-Mastro. “This is a very exciting announcement for our schools and represents the culmination of many years of dedication to recycling and sustainability initiatives by students and staff.”
Two District 197 schools, Garlough Environmental Magnet School and Heritage Environmental-STEM Magnet School, were named Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Likewise, each of District 197’s eight schools have achieved Energy Star ratings.
In addition, all District 197 schools participate in waste sorting, effectively separating trash, recyclables and organics. The organics are used in school composting efforts and help contribute to an annual compost sale each spring. Likewise each District 197 school also has a LIVEGREEN team to promote District sustainability initiatives. These initiatives are highlighted annually during a district-wide LIVEGREEN week. Through its sustainability efforts, School District 197 has avoided more than $1.9 million in utility costs since 2003.
In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts 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. Duncan and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC.
“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”
The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 81 honorees can be found here.
More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.