What is a “green” school? Although heads vigorously nod approval to the phrase “green is good”, it’s often not clear what constitutes “green” in a school setting. The Green Schools National Network (GSNN) is a relatively new organization that serves as a clearinghouse for education, non-profit, corporate and public sector individuals interested in all aspects of green and healthy schools. (http://www.greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org/)
The GSNN is dedicated to fostering collaboration and networking in a wide variety of areas. To name a few: promoting healthy foods in schools, developing energy efficient school sites, integrating nature into the curriculum, identifying design considerations for renovation or new school construction, recycling, and many other related topics. To quote from the network’s vision statement, “GSNN is nationally recognized as the premier partner in advancing collaboration to integrate a green and healthy culture in schools to ensure that current and future generation of students are environmentally literate as well as practice and promote sustainability in their community”
The “Find a School” and “State Networks “ tabs on the website are especially helpful. The school finder provides links to schools by state that are engaged in “green” initiatives while the “State Networks” tab provides valuable access to the websites of state organizations dedicated to school greening. Many of these organizations also contain links and descriptions of schools that are focusing on incorporating more nature and environmental awareness into their buildings and curriculum.
The GSNN organization and website are rapidly expanding works in progress. If you have an interest in finding other schools that have tried to “green’ their efforts, give this site a look.
Herb -- I'm always astounded by how routinely "green schools" will feature healthy food, energy-efficient buildings, EE curricula, recycling, etc. (just as you do, above) -- yet make little or no mention of actual greenery in and around schools! As in, providing school kids with some actual, authentic nature experiences by converting at least portions of the asphalt-and-turf-grass wastelands of most schoolyards into diverse, healthy, natural habitats where kids can play and learn -- both in and out of school hours. The blatant gulf between the current, common usage of "green" and the reality of actual, living nature is a very sad -- and ultimately very damaging -- issue, in my humble opinion. Sorry; felt like a mini-rant this morning!