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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) is pleased to announce that, for a second year, the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) program is seeking to honor exemplary 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 2016 and the national award ceremony will occur in summer 2016.

The Green Ribbon Schools award program has been in place since 2012; 2016 will be the second 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 University of Minnesota-Morris was honored with a Postsecondary Sustainability Award in 2015. The current application for Minnesota public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education interested in seeking this recognition is available at Green Ribbon Schools (

Information about the Green Ribbon Schools program can be found at

Applications are due on December 18, 2015, with national awards announced in April.

The ED-GRS intent to apply notification and the final application must be submitted electronically to the Minnesota Department of Education at

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