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Forest Edge Elementary School

Solar panels on roof of school

2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honoree

As the first verified net zero energy school in Wisconsin, students and staff at Forest Edge Elementary School in Oregon are leaders in sustainability.

Boasting more than 1,700 solar panels, 90 geothermal wells, smart windows, and green roof ledges, the 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School has physically positioned itself as a study in conservation – all energy needs are offset with onsite generation, and the school does not have a natural gas line that serves the building.

The commitment to sustainability doesn’t end there.

Programming within the school provides students the opportunity to participate in activities that educate and support green initiatives in the building and within the Oregon community. A leadership group formed by students educates peers on recycling practices with a goal of diverting waste from landfills, and a garden space outside the school allows students to plant vegetables and herbs, harvesting produce to bring home or share with students and staff. Throughout the school year, students spend time maintaining the garden, weeding garden beds and cleaning the space for winter preparation. A hydroponic system rotating around the building provides a unique look at fruits and vegetables as they grow throughout the year.

Education on sustainability is also incorporated in the school’s curriculum, with lesson plans available at each grade level that teach about renewable energy, and a new initiative called “Renew Our Schools” tasks students and staff with competing with hands-on learning experience to expand knowledge and decisions on energy consumption.

Congratulations to Forest Edge Elementary School for being named a 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School!