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The Kentucky Green Schools (KGS) program is designed to inspire students to develop environmentally friendly behavior and to feel empowered to take active steps toward creating a greener and healthier world—starting with their local environment at school. 





KGS is a joint program of the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE)

and the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC).

Investigations are adapted from the PLT Green Schools program and the Kansas Green Schools program.


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Girls Carrying a Recycling Bin

What is a Kentucky Green School?

A Kentucky Green School (KGS) is a place where students lead the way to reduce their school’s environmental footprint and create a more sustainable learning environment for all. Thematic investigations will help guide students through examining their school’s energy use, waste and recycling, water consumption, school site, and environmental quality (such as indoor air quality, school transportation, and use of chemicals). Using the results of their investigations, students select, design, and implement one or more action projects, and measure their impacts.

While inspiring environmentally friendly behavior and taking active steps toward creating a greener and healthier world - starting with their local environment at school, the Kentucky Green Schools program promotes eco-literacy, investigative skills, teamwork, leadership skills, and sustainability practices.


Check out the KGS info webinar recording here >>

All grade levels of Kentucky public or private schools are invited to join KGS! Schools are recognized for their efforts through award door plates, certificates, flags, and the invitation to present at KAEE’s annual Outdoor Learning Symposium. 

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The Investigations

Themed investigations help guide students through examining their school grounds and school’s energy use, waste and recycling, water consumption, and overall environmental quality. Learn more >>>



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School Environment

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School Site

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Waste & Recycling

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History of Green Schools in KY

The Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) and Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) have historically run two separate green schools programs that offered reciprocal recognition for schools.  Kentucky Green Schools will now be offered as a program of KAEE in partnership with KEEC and the former Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools Program. 

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KGS investigation guides are based on three successful green schools programs - Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools, PLT GreenSchools, and Kansas Green Schools. 

Community Service

How to Get Started

Check out this short video to learn more about how to get started and begin your journey to become a Kentucky Green School today!

Steps for Becoming a Kentucky Green School & Getting Recognized

  • Watch the video, How to Get Started!

  • Register as a Kentucky Green School

  • Become a KAEE Site Member (top right of the screen) 

  • Download the Investigation(s) - only available to registered schools and site members (FREE to join!)

  • Form a Green Team!

  • Complete the Investigation(s)

  • Complete your action project(s)

  • Celebrate!

  • Submit Recognition Form

Questions along the way? Email

Find a Community Partner Near YOU!

Community partners are committed to offering support, resources, and experiences to our network of Kentucky Green Schools. Use the map below to find partner near you to help students successfully complete investigations, implement projects, or even to plan a field trip!

Nature Class

Why Become a Kentucky Green School?

By making improvements on campus, students can help the school save energy costs, decrease absenteeism, increase student test scores, and create a more sustainable learning environment, among other benefits.

Potential Green School Benefits

Efficiency Improvements

Efficiency improvements in water, electricity, and transportation usage all result in cost avoidance for schools. By taking several small behavioral steps, schools can save significant sums of money.

Indoor Air Quality Improvements

Asthma is directly linked to indoor air quality. Schools with better indoor air quality have been shown to have better student and teacher attendance, and lower teacher turnover rates (saving your school money!)

Development of Outdoor Classrooms

Research shows that the more students are outdoors and use the environment to learn, the more engaged and healthy they are. Students who spend more time outdoors have also been shown to experience less stress and suffer from fewer or less severe ADHD symptoms.

Student and School Recognition 

KGS offers three levels of recognition: Silver, Gold, and Green. Apply for recognition after completing one or more investigations and projects! Schools can also apply for recognition through the U.S. Green Ribbon Schools program. Learn more >>

Potential Student Benefits

Leadership & Problem-solving Skills

Boosted Environmental Literacy and Environmental Stewardship Skills 

A Deeper Connection to Nature and a Sense of Place

Teamwork Experience and a Sense of Community

Investigation and Project Implementation Skills

This program is free to participate in thanks to our generous program sponsors.

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Kentucky SFI Implementation Committee
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