Representatives from green schools, school districts and post-secondary institutions across the country came together to celebrate their recognition as 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbons Schools award winners. On July 19, after the official ceremony, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC hosted a reception in the Hart Senate Office Building, overlooking the Capitol dome.
At the reception, the award recipients mingled, wrote thank-you postcards back home, engaged with curriculum content in Learning Lab and submitted commitment cards to participate in the Green Apple Day of Service.
The ED-Green Ribbons Schools awards honor schools that save money and resources through green practices, create healthy environments for their students and increase understanding of sustainability.
Members of Congress such as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), and Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), came to the event to congratulate award recipients from their districts. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Green Schools Caucus, took the stage to honor the winning schools and call out a winner near his district in Pennsylvania for their outstanding accomplishments.
“Your work is an important contribution to preserving our environment and resources for future generations—including your own—as well as for improving student and teacher health,” said Costello. “Likewise, your efforts have contributed to the economic health of your communities, saving taxpayer dollars, creating job opportunities and reducing energy consumption."
This year, 63 schools, school districts and post-secondary institutions received awards for their green schools achievements.