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Two of KAEE's Kentucky Green Schools named U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools


Two of KAEE's Kentucky Green Schools, Robert D. Johnson Elementary in Ft. Thomas and Arlington Elementary in Fayette County, were recognized as 2024 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Robert D. Johnson Elementary also won the 2023 KAEE Outstanding PreK-12 School Award.  


The Green Ribbon Schools award goes to schools that focus on three pillars:

  • Reducing environmental impact and cost

  • Improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and

  • Providing effective environmental and sustainability education, which incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways.


The Kentucky Environmental Education Council nominated both schools. KEEC’s announcement listed among the schools’ accomplishments:

  • Johnson Elementary is committed to providing project-based learning opportunities focused on environmental education for students at every grade level, including motivating and educating the school population about recycling and composting, using biomimicry to solve environmental problems, and creating structures that provide shade for animals. Watch a video about their recycling efforts.

  • Arlington Elementary uses its school garden as a living laboratory for students to gain a hands-on environmental education. Students explore seeds, animal habitats, and the butterfly life cycle through hands-on work in the garden. The garden is fertilized by one of the only school-wide, student-run composting programs in Fayette County Public Schools.


Both schools also participate in KAEE’s Kentucky Green Schools Program, which 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.


You can find a list of all Green Ribbon schools on the U.S. Department of Education website. Visit KEEC’s website to learn more about the program and how to nominate a Green Ribbon school for next year. 


Know a person or organization who is making a difference in environmental education in Kentucky? The KAEE Excellence in EE Awards recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals, organizations, agencies, community efforts, schools, and businesses in the field of environmental education (EE). KAEE is now accepting award nominations for 2024.

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