Hillendale Elementary School Awarded Green Ribbon for Environmental Education and Sustainability

800 450 Stroud Water Research Center

Hillendale Elementary School, a Stroud Water Research Center Partner School, Is One of 26 U.S. Schools to Earn a Green Ribbon From the Department of Education

Headshot of Diane Huskinson

By Diane Huskinson

Hillendale Elementary School, part of the Unionville Chadds Ford School District in southeastern Pennsylvania and a longtime education partner of Stroud Water Research Center, is now a national Green Ribbon School! Hillendale is among 26 schools, 11 districts, and four postsecondary institutions in the United States this year to receive the honor from the U.S. Department of Education. 

The awards recognize innovative efforts to reduce environmental impacts and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective sustainability and environmental education. 

In addition to conserving energy, offering wellness activities, modeling environmentally friendly stormwater management, planting a forest and a pollinator meadow, and installing educational signage on its campus, the school is among several in the region to participate in a project led by the Stroud Center to enhance outdoor learning spaces. 

“Hillendale provides a robust offering of environmental and sustainability education to children in kindergarten through fifth grade. During the 2022–23 school year, staff embarked on a multiyear commitment to learning best practices in teaching about and within nature in our outdoor classrooms in partnership with Stroud Water Research Center,” the school’s nomination packet reads.

Principal Joshua Leight says he hopes the school’s efforts will inspire others to make similar commitments.

Hillendale officially received its award on August 8 in Washington, D.C., alongside other honorees.

Back home, the school hosted a celebration for families, staff, partners, and friends. Stroud Center educators joined them, bringing the Watershed Education Mobile Lab so that attendees could learn about aquatic life in streams and closely examine a variety of creek critters. 

Speaking with Stroud Center Assistant Director of Education Tara Muenz during the outdoor celebration at the school, Leight commented, “This day is the culmination of many years of hard work toward environmental sustainability and education for our school and wellness for our stakeholders. And it’s about recognizing all these people that have worked so hard for so long to make a unique school experience for all the kids that go here. We’re really proud to be a U.S. Department of Education 2023 Green Ribbon School.”

Congratulations, Hillendale Elementary School!

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