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Program encourages environmental practices in schools

MADISON -- A new Web-based, voluntary program to encourage sound environmental practices and promote environmental stability is now available to all public and private K-12 schools across Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Green Schools Program encourages teachers, staff and students to work together to use the school, its grounds, and the whole community as environmental learning tools.

Green schools coordinator Christal Winter says the program is integrated to address waste reduction and recycling, energy conservation, water conservation and quality, transportation, chemicals, school site and grounds, indoor air quality, mercury, integrated pest management, and community involvement.

The goal of the program, Winter said, is that participating schools will see:

bulletan increased sense of ownership by teachers, students, and staff in the school,


bulleteconomic savings associated with reduced consumption and operating costs,


bulletincreased protection of natural resources,


bulletincreased connections between the community and the school,


bulletuse of the school grounds as a teaching tool, and


bulletenhanced interdisciplinary learning opportunities for students.


The Green Schools Program consists of two stages: Discovery/Inventory and Action/Implementation. In the Discovery/Inventory stage, students, teachers and staff conduct a self-audit to determine environmental practices they are already doing and where they can improve. The audit sections address facilities, operations, curriculum, and community involvement.

As part of the Action/Implementation stage, schools use the results from their Green Schools Audit to determine how well they are doing and where they can improve. Then, using criteria presented in the Green Schools Requirements Chart, they can develop and implement various environmental action projects.

After a school meets the criteria accomplishes areas of improvement, they school can apply to become a Wisconsin Green School.

“Many schools may already qualify under some topic areas,” Winter said.

As a Wisconsin Green School, schools will receive a Green Schools banner and be recognized on the Wisconsin Green Schools Web site.

This program is primarily Internt-based and all information, resources, and applications are provided on a Web site. People can see how the Wisconsin Green Schools program could help the schools in their community become a models of environmentally sustainability by visiting the Wisconsin Green Schools Web site at or by contacting Christal Winter at (608) 264-8976 or by e-mail at <>.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Christal Winter - (608) 264-8976




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