May 27, 2024

Environmental stewardship and education were front and center at 343 Michigan schools recently recognized as Michigan Green Schools, an increase of 37 schools over 2023.

Students part of the Green Club at Amanda Moore Elementary School in Romeo, MI.

Students part of the Green Club at Amanda Moore Elementary School in Romeo, Mich. 

 

2024 marks the third year that the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) was responsible for operating the Michigan Green Schools program, which aims to promote the implementation of sustainability activities and environmental education in grades pre-K through 12.

The Michigan Green Schools program was established through the work of student advocates in 2006. In 2010, students again led the charge to update the program to allow for multiple levels of recognition. Statewide management of the program occurred through an independent nonprofit organization until 2021, when it transferred to EGLE’s Environmental Education program.

“The Michigan Green Schools Program is an important way that we can support environmental literacy and sustainability action in our PreK-12 education system,” said Eileen Boekestein, EGLE’s environmental education coordinator. “We are thrilled to see the program thriving and continuing to grow in 2024.”

While EGLE facilitates the statewide program, a network of 30+ volunteer county coordinators assist with supporting schools and reviewing applications each year.

For the 2023-2024 school year, 343 schools were designated as Michigan Green Schools, as follows:

Green: 106

Emerald: 81

Evergreen: 156

Under the Michigan Green Schools program, schools may qualify for various levels of stewardship by earning points for activities:

  • Green School — 10 total activities
  • Emerald School — 15 total activities
  • Evergreen School — 20 total activities

The four categories of activities for official Green School qualification are:

  • Reduce/Reuse/Recycle
  • Energy
  • Environmental Protection
  • Miscellaneous

A school is eligible to receive a Green School, Emerald School, or Evergreen School Environmental Stewardship Designation if the school or students perform the required number of activities, with a minimum of two activities from each of the four categories.

Educators who would like to participate in the program during the 2024-2025 academic year can learn more on the Michigan Green Schools Portal. Applications open January 1st of each year.

Individuals who are interested in volunteering to become a Michigan Green Schools county coordinator can also check the MI Green Schools Portal to see if their county has a vacancy.

Questions about the program can be directed to Eileen Boekestein at [email protected].

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