Green Schools Conference & Expo

This year, the Green Schools Conference & Expo (GSCE) will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 8-10. The conference brings together people who lead, operate, build, and teach in U.S. schools. Teachers, parents, students, school and district staff, educational leaders, building industry professionals, non-profit partners and others who are passionate about making green, healthy schools a reality are invited to attend.

The conference includes two full days of programming and offers inspiring keynote speakers, informative workshops and breakout sessions and the chance to network with colleagues from across the country. Visit for more information and explore the full schedule online. Learn about sustainability education for all ages, energy efficiency, social equity, health in schools, and more. Note, early bird registration ends on February 22nd.

Project Learning Tree (PLT) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) are proud to be Green Schools Conference & Expo (GSCE) 2019 National Partners.

Student Summit

students-green-schools-conferenceThe conference also features a Student Summit: Become a River Hero. Designed for grades 7-12, students will learn about Minnesota’s lakes and rivers and create a plan to protect your community’s waterways and the living things that depend on healthy waters.

Through this one-day intensive workshop, students will:

  • Explore the science behind freshwater resource protection and conservation
  • Explore the species that depend on healthy waters in the Upper Mississippi Region
  • Explore the sources of pressure on these resources as well as conservation strategies
  • Develop skills to become an effective River Hero
  • Develop plans with other River Heroes to implement a campaign to protect or restore the health of your local waterways.

The cost for the Student Summit is $100, including meals and supplies, and scholarships are available.

Register for the Green Schools Conference & Expo today! A variety of registration packages are available. 

New Webinar Series: Transforming Schools with PLT GreenSchools

Project Learning Tree’s GreenSchools program inspires students to apply their STEM and investigative skills to create greener and healthier schools. Our new series of free webinars will provide teachers, administrators, students, and other Green Team members with valuable information and ideas on how to implement PLT’s GreenSchools Investigations.

Importantly with PLT GreenSchools, it’s students who lead the way and these webinars will showcase how students are making changes and taking ownership of projects they lead to reduce their school’s environmental footprint.

The first webinar in the series—Improving the Air You Breathe at Your School—took place on Thursday, January 17th, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST.

Click here to access the recording

In this free webinar:

  • We introduce you to the Air Quality Egg learning system that enables students to easily conduct scientific experiments using real-time air quality data that they collect. With this system, students become citizen scientists by sharing air quality data with others from around the world as part of a global science project.
  • Student and teacher teams from Upper Merion Middle School (an urban school near Philadelphia, PA) and Moravia High School (a rural school in upstate NY) shared how they have tracked and analyzed air quality data.
  • A Horticulture Technician from Cornell University, Environmental, Health, and Safety Department shared how they use the Air Quality Egg system to examine the effects of carbon dioxide levels on the growth rate of plants.


Air Quality Egg Raffle

As part of this webinar, we hosted a raffle to win an Air Quality Egg learning package worth $2,800 which includes an Air Quality Egg device, a one-year subscription, educator training and tech support.


Watch the recording of our webinar Improving the Air You Breathe at Your School and stay tuned for news of more upcoming PLT GreenSchools webinars.

PLT GreenSchools Honored as Green Ribbon Schools

5th graders at Moriarty Environmental Sciences Magnet School investigate biodiversity in Mohegan Park Pond (photo submitted with Moriarty’s Green Ribbon Schools nomination)

Project Learning Tree is thrilled that 9 PLT GreenSchools and one school district are among the 45 schools, 9 school districts, and 9 institutions of higher education recognized this year as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS).

The awards acknowledge the innovative efforts of students, teachers, and school administrators across the country who are working to reduce their school’s environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. These schools, districts, and institutions of higher education are models of 21st century excellence as they inspire others with examples of practices and resources to make schools greener and healthier.


PLT GreenSchools Honored as 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

  • Connecticut – Moriarty Environmental Sciences Magnet School, Norwich, CT
  • Florida – Surfside Elementary School, Satellite Beach, FL
  • Kentucky – Morton Middle School, Lexington, KY
  • Louisiana – Mayfair Laboratory School, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Nebraska – Chandler View Elementary School, Omaha, NE
  • New Jersey – Long Branch Middle School, Long Branch, NJ
  • North Carolina –Tarawa Terrace Elementary School , Tarawa Terrace, NC
  • Wisconsin
    • Houlton Elementary School, Houlton, WI
    • Kromrey Middle School, Kromrey, WI

In addition, Washburn School District in Wisconsin is a 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardee.


Three Highlights

Here are highlights from three PLT GreenSchools recognized this year as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

Moriarty Environmental Sciences Magnet School in Norwich, CT seeks to create students that are passionate environmental stewards and collaborative problem solvers who understand the importance of sustainability and technology. One of their greatest accomplishments has been the creation and inclusion of outdoor learning spaces into the curriculum. These include: a community garden, natural wildlife habitat, local bodies of water, butterfly garden, sidewalk gardens to create more permeable surfaces, and an outdoor classroom pavilion.

Surfside Elementary in Satellite Beach, FL, which uses PLT and 4-H to shape their environmental education curriculum and policies, utilizes environmental impact as a central focus of the school’s operations. Over the past 5 years, Surfside has reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 45% and 15% of their solid waste is diverted from landfill/incineration through recycling efforts. Students feed vegetable scraps daily to chickens, ducks, geese and turkey, and the manure from the poultry run is used to fertilize fruit trees.

Long Branch Middle School in Long Branch, NJ collects 300 Megawatt hours yearly from solar panels installed on the school roofs and atop the car ports in the parking lots. As a result of various initiatives, this school has saved their district over 2 million dollars.


A report with highlights on all 63 awardees can be found here. “These honorees are ensuring that their students learn to live, work, and play with sustainability and health in mind, not as an afterthought, but as an integral part of everything they undertake,” said  Andrea Suarez Falken, Director of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

Discover how PLT’s GreenSchools Investigations connect with ED-GRS’s three Pillars that the U.S. Department of Education uses to define a green school.