Green Street Academy, a charter school in Baltimore, has received a Best of Green Schools award for 2019 as one of the national leaders among education institutions in environmental efforts and sustainability.
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Schools National Network have chosen Best of Green Schools winners in nine categories.
“Transforming all schools into green, healthy, sustainable schools is one of the most important education initiatives happening today,” says Jennifer Seydel, executive director fo the Green Schools National Network. “The students, teachers, educational leaders and their partners being recognized this year reflect the expansion of this transformative movement. We are humbled and awed by the effort of every person and project being recognized this year.”
Green Street's recognition comes in the K12 School category. The award recognizes the grade 6-12 charter school and urban farm for applying STEM studies to sustainable practices, career skills and self-reliance so that all 850 students experience the benefits of a sustainable schoolyard .
Other award recipients:
- The School System Award went to the South San Francisco (Calif.) School District for its sustainable energy STEM education program. It provides 2,100 students and 50 teachers with real-world, hands-on activities and professional development.
- The Higher Education Institution Award went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Environmental Studies Program, which collaborates with the local school district to engage high school students around research and planning activities that reduce the environmental impacts of public K12 school buildings.
- The Transformation Award went to New Roots Charter School in Ithaca, N.Y. The Cayuga Wetlands Restoration Project, in collaboration with the Cayuga Nation, began in a science class and has restored wetland on the south end of Cayuga Lake, with future plans to create a youth conservation corps to improve state waterways.
- The Policymaker Award went to Karen Alarid, executive director for facilities design and construction in the Albuquerque (N.M.) district. Alarid has overseen more than 50 LEED projects in the district and has led the district’s efforts to cut resource consumption on its more than 160 campuses. The district achieved 98 percent of its energy reduction goal in five years.
- The Business Leader Award went to the Gensler architecture firm. It has designed LEED-certified schools across the nation, with a focus on delivering healthful learning spaces.
- The Student Leader Award went to Ella Culton at The Greene School in West Greenwich, R.I. Culton has helped raise awareness for climate change, safe drinking water, and environmental and social justice in her community.
- The Ambassador Award went to Victoria Rydberg with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In her role with the department’s Environmental Education program, Rydberg supports all 242 Wisconsin school districts in updating environmental and sustainability education standards, and integrating them into professional development, resources and teaching.
- The Collaborator Award went to the Green Schools Recognition Program at Florida Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. The program, which is an initiative of the university’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, serves more than 120 South Florida schools, and provides environmental education for more than 110,000 students.
Honorees will receive their awards at the Green Schools Conference and Expo next week in St. Paul, Minn.