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Green Ribbon Schools Award Program Expanded to Higher Education


Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
(651) 259-3902

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) was pleased to learn recently that the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) program has been expanded to include higher education institutions.

Green Ribbon Schools is a recognition program that honors schools, school districts and institutions of higher education for exemplary work in reducing environmental impact, improving health and wellness, and providing effective environmental education. Awardees receive a plaque and a flag, local recognition, and an invitation to the national award ceremony in Washington, D.C. The awards will be announced on Earth Day 2015 and the national award ceremony will occur in summer 2015.

The Green Ribbon Schools award program has been in place since 2012; 2015 will be the first year that institutions of higher education will be recognized. Applying for the award provides institutions with an opportunity to analyze energy and water usage, waste reduction, and transportation. In addition, faculty examine their curriculum for instruction in environmental concepts, skills, and careers. The program supports communication about best practices and existing resources that achieve current national goals.

Each state nominates one institution of higher education to the U.S. Department of Education for recognition. The application for Minnesota public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education interested in seeking this recognition is available at

Information about the Green Ribbon Schools program can be found at

Applications are due on January 5, 2015, with national awards announced in April.

The ED-GRS intent to apply notification and the final application must be submitted electronically to John Olson at the Minnesota Department of Education at Questions can be directed to Olson at his email or 651-582-8673, or contact Dr. Nancy Walters, Minnesota Office of Higher Education, at or by phone at 651-259-3907.

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