Posted: Mon, 09/24/2012 - 3:36pm Updated: Mon, 10/03/2016 - 2:39pm

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, which incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education (ED) effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices that are proven to result in improved student engagement, higher academic achievement and graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government wide goal of increasing energy independence and economic security.

Winning applications can be found here. The expectation is that applications and winners will only get better with each year so please use these examples as a tool to build from for your green efforts!

Indiana’s Green Ribbon Schools Program

Indiana will be participating in the Federal Green Ribbon Schools program for the 2016-2017 school year. This is a great opportunity to highlight schools in Indiana that are doing their part to not only educate students about the environmental impact they have, but to actually involve them in the process of going green. Any school may apply, and applicants for the program are chosen based upon three pillars:

  • Pillar One: Reduce Environmental Impact & Costs
  • Pillar Two: Improve the Health and Wellness of Students
  • Pillar Three: Provide Effective Environmental & Sustainability Education, Incorporating STEM, Civic Skills, and Green Career Pathways

Indiana’s Timeline for the 2016-2017 school year:

  • December 14 – Applications due.
  • January 2017 – Chosen schools will be informed, and nomination packets will be put together.
  • February 1 – Nomination packets must be submitted to ED.
  • April 22 – ED announces national awardees

Applications are due to the Indiana Department of Education by December 14, 2016 and must be submitted online by downloading the Application Form and emailing to Jarred Corwin at The application is labor intensive; be sure to develop a team in order to complete.


2015 Award Winner

  • Columbus North High School

2014 Award Winner

  • Carmel High School and St. Thomas Aquinas

2013 Award Winner

  • Guion Creek Middle School from the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township