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Unified School District of De Pere

Group of middle school girls sitting on benches in a garden looking at seed catalogs

2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardee

Through innovation and a district-wide commitment, the Unified School District of De Pere has made sustainability and environmental awareness an integral part of its mission.

The 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardee has six schools and over 4,500 students, and each of them have a role in reducing environmental impact. By tracking energy usage, the district modifies practices accordingly to reduce output. A recent upgrade of HVAC systems and the addition of geothermal and passive solar energy sources allow for clean energy choices. Outside of school buildings, native plants minimize the need for energy-consuming maintenance and fertilizing, and other landscape and garden wastes are composted. Outdoor learning centers paired with vegetable and pollinator gardens give students a unique opportunity for hands-on learning and continuing their journey toward becoming environmental stewards.

Not only is being green and healthy a constant within the district, but above all, mental health and providing care to students remains a priority. The district partners with several medical providers and groups throughout the community, connecting students with school-based mental health resources and services. Therapy dogs often accompany staff in the hallways, providing unconditional support for students who may need a calming friend.

Congratulations to the Unified District of De Pere for being named a 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardee!