The New Jersey Department of Education has announced that New Jersey will participate in the 2020- 2021 federal Green Ribbon Schools program.

Schools can apply individually or as part of a district, and private schools can also apply for this national recognition. The U.S. Department of Education launched the annual award in 2011 to recognize the highest performing green schools in the nation. This award acknowledges exemplary achievement by schools in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving health and wellness, and providing effective environmental and sustainability education.

The award also serves as a clearinghouse of resources that help to advance these complementary aims. For more information on U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, visit the Green Ribbon Schools website.

New Jersey, which has participated since the program began, is permitted to nominate up to five applicants to the Green Ribbon program for consideration. New Jersey convenes a Green Schools nominating committee of stakeholder organizations, agencies, and school officials to select the most outstanding applicants.

Interested applicants should access the New Jersey Audubon’s Green Ribbon Schools webpage  for information on the Green Ribbon Schools program in New Jersey, and to download the application and supporting documents.

The website provides the timeline for submission of materials to the N.J. Audubon. A letter of intent to participate should be submitted to N.J. Audubon, as described on the Green Ribbon Schools webpage, by Nov. 20, 2020, and a completed application must be submitted by Dec. 18, 2020.

The winning schools and district will be announced in Spring 2021 and honored at a national ceremony in early Fall 2021. The nominated New Jersey applicants will be recognized at a state ceremony in March 2021 and will be asked to present a summary of their achievements at the ceremony.

Contact information Please contact Bernard E. Piaia, Jr., director, Office of School Facilities, at (609) 376-3701 or Leonard Colner at (609) 376-3672 with any questions about this program.