Eco-Schools USA

In 2016, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) – the largest member grassroots conservation organization in the US – opened an office in Milwaukie, Oregon. You may know of NWF from their award-winning children’s magazine, Ranger Rick, but they’re much more than just that with a suite of education programs meant to compliment current classroom activities.

In fact, NWF’s K-12 education programs include Eco-Schools USA – of which Oregon Green Schools (OGS) has been a co-certification partner since 2012. This international program provides a framework to “green” schools with a wealth of resources. Through action teams of students, administrators, educators, parents, and community volunteers, Eco-Schools combines effective green management of school grounds, facilities and curriculum through 12 Pathways of Sustainability that include:

Energy   |  Water   |   Food   |  Climate Change   |  Biodiversity   |  Transportation   |  Schoolyard Habitats   |   Consumption & Waste   |  Healthy Living   |  Healthy Schools    WOW – Watersheds, Oceans, and Wetlands  |  LEAF – Learning About Forests 

 Download the handbook to learn more.

 Currently, there are over 300+ Eco-Schools in Oregon, most of which were registered as Eco-Schools from their current or past status as an Oregon Green School. The co-certification partnership means that both programs are aligned with similar waste reduction and resource conservation efforts and education as well as overlapping steps and awards. Simply put, participating OGS schools can receive reciprocal status as an Eco-School. Schools can then take advantage of the numerous resources within the Eco-Schools USA platform such as creating a mini-website page (dashboard) to display their sustainability goals, progress, and accomplishments. Furthermore, the Eco-Schools USA program is correlated with Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, and others while providing teachers and students with STEM opportunities through the lens of sustainability.

Schools can look up their status on the current Eco-Schools Map. Most schools in Oregon have already earned an Eco-Schools USA Bronze Award for their work on the Consumption and Waste pathway through the Oregon Green Schools application process. Contact NWF for assistance (below) in determining your school’s award status and how to apply to receive your certificate.

Periodically, NWF works with specific school districts to offer Eco-Schools USA workshops   to offer Eco-Schools USA workshops for educators/staff/parents and periodically has the ability to provide seed grants for sustainability projects related to the pathways listed above. If you’re interested in these type of opportunities, contact NWF.

The National Wildlife Federation also works closely with their affiliate partner, the Association of Northwest Steelheaders on their salmon education efforts (such as Fish Eggs to Fry and Family Fish Camp) in concert with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. In addition, community members and schools engage with NWF through their Garden for Wildlife program to create Certified Wildlife Habitats and Schoolyard Habitats across the state. Check out our Monarch Butterfly and Climate Change curriculum!

For more info about NWF education programs, contact:

Morgan Parks, Oregon Education Coordinator
Phone:  503-616-3613
6641 SE Lake Rd.
Milwaukie, OR 97222

Learn more about NWF on their facebook page at National Wildlife Federation – Oregon (@NWFOregon)