Michigan Green Schools is a non-profit 501(c)3 agency dedicated to assisting all Michigan schools – public and private – achieve environmental goals which include protecting the air, land, water and animals of our state along with world outreach through good ecological practices and the teaching of educational stewardship of students pre-kindergarten through senior high school.
Michigan Green Schools began as an idea from students and teachers of Hartland Consolidated School District in the fall of 2005. It was determined that the best way to help Michigan achieve environmental goals through its schools was to formulate 20 points of educational environmental activities. It was further decided that if any school in Michigan achieved ten of these points within an academic year, it could achieve official Michigan Green School status.
Students and teachers then proceeded to propose their bill to local Representative Joe Hune, who introduced the bill in the Michigan House in 2006. Students and teachers testified before the House Natural Resources Committee; it was forwarded to the House floor. Public Act 146 of 2006 was approved by an overwhelming majority of that body.
State Senator Valde Garcia then sponsored the legislation before the Michigan Senate Natural Resources Committee, which voted to send the bill to the Senate floor. The Senate voted almost unanimously to approve the measure.
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed the bill May 21, 2006. In the first year of the program, 18 schools participated. This academic year of 2016, over 650 schools participated in the growing program.
Michigan Public Act 301 of 2010 revised the law governing how Michigan schools achieve Michigan Green School status. Michigan Public Act 301 of 2010 includes new provisions that allow for schools to attain multiple levels of Michigan Green School certification, complete new activities and be creative in developing their own activities. Schools that wish to develop their own activities need to contact their county coordinator for approval by December 1st. For the specifics on becoming a Michigan Green School please continue on to the Green Activities page and to the Application page.
Become a Green School and...
...help protect the Great Lakes! The Great Lakes contain 21.8% of the world's fresh surface water. No other state in America is surrounded by as many of the Great Lakes as Michigan.
We can provide some stewardship to keep them clean and safe for wildlife and future generations.
Eliminating plastic bags and other plastic materials in any school or community has great benefit to the health of our lakes.
Writing legislators and town councils to ban plastic bags like a growing number of cities around America is a major way to help solve the problem. Schools can sign up for Adopt-a-Beach with The Alliance for the Great Lakes.
Fun Ways to Earn Points!
Many animals are facing unprecedented losses especially tigers.and rhinos. Adopting one of these or other endangered animals is especially important now. Your school can adopt through The National Wildlife Foundation or The World Wildlife Foundation.
Michigan Wildlife Awareness
Did you know Michigan and Wisconsin are two of the last best hopes to save the Karner Blue butterfly? This butterfly is a federally endangered species – the most serious level facing extinction. The photo above shows the female, which is brownish grey.
This diminutive butterfly is found in southern Michigan and is in danger of extinction due to loss of habitat. The butterfly needs the blue lupine plant to continue reproducing.
This is why one of the Michigan Green School activities is establishing native Michigan plant gardens catering to species that need native plants to survive. The Michigan DNR has information on this butterfly and how to help.
Ideas for activities:
Photo: Mary Rabe, Michigan DNR