Chicago Area Schools Recognized As “Green Ribbon Schools”

The U.S. Department of Education this spring began recognizing schools across the United States as “Green Ribbon Schools” for their sustainability efforts. The Chicago area was represented among the 78 initial honorees.

Waters Elementary in Lincoln Square and the Academy for Global Citizenship Charter School in Garfield Ridge were honored by the U.S. Department of Education for their efforts in environmental, energy conservation and wellness education.

At the Academy for Global Citizenship, students start the day with up to 15 minutes of yoga and a scratch, organic breakfast.

“Health and nutrition are incorporated into our core philosophy,’’ said Academy executive director Sarah Elizabeth Ippel.

Some 13,000 square feet of asphalt that surrounds the school has been converted into an “urban center for sustainability’’ featuring a green house, an organic raised-bed garden, a composting bin, a wind turbine and a chicken coop that produces eggs, Ippel said.

At Waters Elementary, every classroom has its own garden bed for fruits and vegetables, and its own recycling captain, said Principal Titia Crespo. The school offers a daily lunchtime salad bar, a lunchroom composting system and ecology across all subjects.

The 1911 schooolhouse was reconstructed to become the first certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) school in Illinois….

Also winning a Green Ribbon Award was the Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake.

Renewable energy development is one of the themes explored in Roosevelt University’s seminars, including SUST 210 The Sustainable Future and SUST 310 Energy and Climate Change. For more information on these or any other of our courses, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email

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