Colorado Green Schools

What is a Green School?

According to the Green Schools National Network, a Green School enhances student health and learning while conserving natural resources and empowering students to develop sustainable behaviors, enabling them to become the stewards of the future.  A Colorado Green School is also working to implement strategies included in the Colorado Environmental Education Plan. 

What do Green Schools look like?

Becoming a green school is not a prescribed journey; it is a series of conscious actions that lead to more ecological and sustainable practices.  The National Green Schools Network has developed the “GreenPrint” as a road map for leaders, teachers and students to begin to implement core practices immediately.  Core practices include:

  • Curriculum that Advances Environmental Literacy and Sustainability
  • Stewardship and Service Learning
  • Sustainable Facilities Design and Management
  • Health and Well Being 
  • Strong Partnerships and Networks

Download the “Green Print”.  


Where can I get resources to help with my efforts?

Check out the EE in Schools Toolkit. 

Click here to check out a case studies report about Colorado public schools that have implemented exceptional school-wide environmental education programs.

Find Resources and tools at the Colorado Green Schools Initiative at the Colorado Chapter of the US Green Building Council’s Website.

Project Learning Tree PLT Green Schools

National Wildlife Foundation's US EcoSchools

Please let us know if you have resources and tools to add by emailing

How can you be recognized for your efforts as a Green School?

Apply for a CAEE Award for Excellence in Environmental Education.  Nominations are due in the fall. 

Apply to be a part of the Environmental Leadership Program through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Apply for national recognition through the US Department of Education’s National Green Ribbon Award Program.  

Green Ribbon Schools Program

The Green Ribbon Schools program was recently launched by the U. S. Department of Education to recognize schools that save energy and reduce operating costs, create environmentally friendly learning spaces, promote student health, and provide environmental education to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum.

 To be eligible for this award, Green Ribbon Schools will have achieved or made considerable progress toward the three pillars established in the program: 1) energy efficient buildings; 2) healthy students and school environment; and 3) environmental literacy of all students. The combined achievement in these three areas will be the basis for the Green Ribbon Schools award. All schools must meet high college- and career-ready standards, be in compliance with federal civil rights laws, and all federal, state and local health and safety standards and regulations.

While the award confers no federal funds, winners of the Green Ribbon, like Blue Ribbon Schools, may experience national and local press coverage, re-energized staff and parents, enhanced community support, increased application rates, and new private financial assistance. Winners will be invited to participate in national and local recognition ceremonies.

Apply for Green Ribbon Recognition

Individual School and District applications can be found on the Colorado Department of Education website. For more information and to apply, visit:

Apply to be a Reviewer

CAEE works to ensure everyone in Colorado has an opportunity to learn about the environment where they live. We value inclusiveness and welcome everyone to the field of environmental education.

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