The White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Education recognized 48 schools and nine districts for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, according to the Department of Education.
"Healthy, safe and sustainable facilities combined with wellness practices like outdoor physical activity, nutritious food and hands-on environmental learning form a strong foundation for a quality education," said Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees were recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Representatives from honored schools and districts received sustainably crafted plaques and banners in recognition of their achievements.
"We live in a time when ecosystems and the forces that influence them are changing rapidly. Now more than ever, we need to prepare youth for a world in which their understanding of and participation in decisions about resource conservation, environmental protection, and sustainable development will define the quality of their lives," said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Schaefer. “This is why U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are so important to individuals, communities, schools, and businesses across America."
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools were chosen from a pool of candidates nominated by 30 state education agencies. Honorees include 39 public schools and nine private schools.
For the first time ever, the 2015 Green Ribbon Schools awards will be open to colleges and universities, the Department of Education said.