U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
Highlights From the 2022 Honorees
Wisconsin Cambridge Elementary School; Cambridge, Wisconsin Cambridge Elementary School (CES) greets students daily with green space to live, learn, and grow. CES has added more efficient lighting, improved building envelope, and installed rooftop solar photovoltaic panels and solar thermal heating, in addition to purchasing renewable energy sources. Annual bike- and walk-to-school days raise awareness about alternative transportation. All students and staff engage in composting. The school’s 40-acre site includes nine acres of woods and three acres of wetlands, which contain native, sustainable vegetation that does not require mowing or irrigation. Water bottle filling stations and automatic sensors conserve water indoors. Physical education classes are held outside, throughout the winter months, with activities like snowshoeing and sledding. Use of the school forest’s nature trails is supported by trail guides with mini-lessons and benches for an outdoor classroom. Students have lessons in the school forest, use recess time for walks in the woods, help preserve and restore the school forest, participate in environmental and ecology clubs, and support social-emotional wellness by walking through natural areas. Place- and project-based activities allow students to apply specific local knowledge to other places, situations, and environmental conditions. Students learn the joy and hard work of gardening from planting seeds to harvesting the homegrown produce. A farm-to-school Chef in the Classroom program uses studentgrown produce to incorporate math, science, language arts, and social studies, in addition to nutrition education. Students work to rid the campus of invasive species and engage in local creek water quality monitoring.
FROM THE 2022 HONOREES
(Cambridge info can be found on page 32)