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Home » Student Success » Resources by Subject Area » Environment & Sustainability

Environment & Sustainability

Contact Information

Environment and Sustainability Education

Elizabeth Schmitz
Program Supervisor
Rachel Farrington
Administrative Assistant

OSPI's goal for environment and sustainability education is to support academic success and life-long learning, and to develop a responsible citizenry capable of applying knowledge of ecological, economic, and socio-cultural systems to meet current and future needs.
Environmental education is a mandatory area of study in Washington, required by WAC 392-410-115.

Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program

The U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Program celebrates schools and districts making significant progress towards:

  • Pillar 1: Reducing environmental impact and costs.
  • Pillar 2: Improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff.
  • Pillar 3: Providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

Selection Process

Schools and districts complete an online application. A state committee scores completed applications. The state may nominate up to five schools or districts. Public and private schools are eligible to apply. The state committee also selects schools and districts that excel in one or more of the pillars as Washington State Green School and District leaders.

For more information, please contact Washington's program coordinator Elizabeth Schmitz.

OSPI forwards state finalists to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). ED chooses national award recipients from this group.

2019-2020 Applications

Washington applications are due January 10, 2020, at 3 pm.

New!–Webinar to Support School and District Applications-This is a recording from the December 10, 2019 Webinar held by OSPI's Environmental and Sustainability Education Program Supervisor, Elizabeth Schmitz, and Oak Harbor Teacher on Special Assignment, Jodi Crimmins.

Learning Standards

The state's K–12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Learning Standards describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

Environmental & Sustainability Literacy Plan

OSPI and E3 Washington led the development of the Washington State Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Plan.