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Michigan Green Schools

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The Michigan Green Schools program was established as a statewide program by Michigan’s Public Act 146 of 2006. It operated as an independent 501c3 organization for 15 years and is now housed within the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Environmental Education Program.

Michigan Green Schools is dedicated to assisting all Michigan schools public and private achieve environmental goals that include protecting the air, land, water and animals of our state through promotion of good ecological practices and environmental stewardship by students pre-kindergarten through high school.

Award Levels

The Michigan Green Schools Program encourages public and private schools to participate in environmentally friendly and energy savings activities.

  • A school achieving 10–14 of the  listed activities can apply to be designated a Michigan Green School.
  • A school achieving 15-19 of the listed activities can apply to be designated a Michigan Emerald School.
  • A school completing 20 or more of the listed activities can apply to be designated a Michigan Evergreen School.

Applications can be submitted starting January 1st and are due by March 1st annually.

The History of Oakland County’s Michigan Green Schools Program

This program began as a grassroots initiative at Hartland High School in Livingston County in 2005. This effort resulted in Governor Jennifer Granholm signing Public Act 146 into law in May of 2006, with Public Act 301 of 2010 expanding the program.

Oakland County became involved with this program in the 2007-2008 school year, and awarded the Michigan Green School designation to 45 public and private schools during the first year. Oakland County had more schools participate than any other county in the state.

In 2008-2009 Oakland County partnered with Oakland Schools and more than doubled the number and awarded the Michigan Green School designation to 98 public and private schools. Thirty-two of those schools attained the higher designation of Emerald status.

In 2009-2010 Oakland Schools took the lead on this project with Oakland County's help. Since then the program has been going strong!

The 2019-2020 school year was the 13th year of the Oakland County Green Schools program and a total of 121 schools participated. 17 schools were designated Green schools, 22 were designated Emerald schools for participating in 15 - 19 activities and 82 schools were designated Evergreen, the highest designation, for participating in 20 or more activities.

2021-2022 is the 15th year that Oakland County has participated in the Michigan Green Schools program. Eight schools have participated all 15 years:

  • Beverly Elementary, Birmingham
  • Lincoln Street Alternative High School, Birmingham
  • Pierce Elementary, Birmingham
  • Clear Lake Elementary, Oxford
  • Our Lady of Sorrows
  • North Hill Elementary, Rochester
  • Jane Addams Elementary, Royal Oak
  • Oak Ridge Elementary, Royal Oak


How can your school become a Michigan Green School?

Michigan Green Schools participate in two activities from each of the categories below: