The Florida Green School Network acts as a central clearinghouse for the green school movement in the state of Florida. It was designed to recognize and support green school initiatives at the school and school district level and to aid them in adopting practices that will conserve natural resources, promote sustainability and reduce operating costs.
The Network was established in 2011 with support from Florida Power and Light. It is a partnership between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Health, and Sustainable Florida. In 2013, all partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to the support of healthier school environments in the state of Florida.
Since 2011, nearly 110,000 K-12 students, teachers and administrators have participated in green school initiatives around the state. These initiatives include: energy conservation programs, recycling programs, green service learning projects, environmental education projects, teacher professional development projects, and efforts to make school buildings and facilities more sustainable.
Many times, these projects go unnoticed. In order to recognize these valuable environmental stewardship initiatives, DEP’s Office of Environmental Education began the Florida Green School Awards program. The Florida Green School Awards program has recognized exemplary green school initiatives by students, classes, teachers, and school district administrators since the 2008-2009 school year. To date, award applicants have generated an impressive $66 million in gross cost savings!!
The Network also supports FL-DOE with the national Green Ribbon Schools Program led by the US Department of Education. Each state may nominate up to four schools and one school district that have demonstrated significant progress in achieving success in the programs three pillars: 1) environmental impact and energy efficiency, 2) healthy school environments, and 3) environmental and sustainability education.