Award and Recognition Programs

Awards HomeThe following are environmental award and recognition programs with non-profit organizations and partners for schools.

Green Ribbon Schools Award Program 

In conjunction with the US Department of Education, the California Department of Education (CDE) is implementing a Green Ribbon Schools Award Program. This program recognizes schools that are taking a comprehensive approach to greening their school.



California K-12 Schools Recycling Challenge 

The California Recycling Challenge is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for K-12 school recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their school communities. The Recycling Challenge for 2021 will include the recycling challenge, a recycling art contest, and litter analysis using Keep California Beautiful’s Environmental App.

US EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge 

As part of US EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, schools pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results. To register your school as a participant, complete and submit online application form. The list of participants, including K-12 Schools, college, and universities, is updated quarterly. 

California School Boards Association Golden Bell Awards

The CSBA Golden Bell Awards promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs. The program includes an Sustainable, Renewable, Energy and Resource Efficient Programs category.

Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students.  The White House Council on Environmental Quality, in partnership with the U.S. EPA administers this award to honor, support, and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms and teaching methods

President’s Environmental Youth Award

The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) recognizes outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth.  The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with EPA to recognize young people for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology.

Go Green Initiative

The Go Green Initiative is a global environmental education program that trains teachers and volunteers in schools to conserve natural resources for future generations and protect human health through environmental stewardship. We provide free and continual instruction for volunteers in all 50 U.S. states and 73 countries, teaching them to integrate environmental education into existing curriculum and quantify the environmental impact of their conservation efforts.

Eco-Schools USA

National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their schools and curriculum.

Ten Strands

Ten Strands weave stakeholders and strategies together into strong, focused education partnerships, with the goal of raising environmental literacy by providing high-quality environment-based learning and hands-on education to all California K-12 students.

The California Center for Civic Participation (Cal Center)

The Green Focus program examines some of California’s most influential environmental laws while introducing students to the green career sector. Cal Center’s goal is to familiarize Sacramento youth with the scope of California environmental policy and its influence on the green career field and the rest of the nation.

BCK Programs, LLC: Environmental Education

BCK’s programs align with the environmental objectives that school districts and municipalities, along with regional and state authorities are required to complete. Through their educational programs, students become involved in accomplishing these requirements while learning job skills, improving their school site and making a meaningful impact in their community.

For more information contact: Schools Program,