ST. LOUIS – The School District of University City and Principia School are U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees.

The announcement was made Friday that Principia School is among the 2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, and the School District of University City is among the 2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardees. Both were nominated for these awards by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with Missouri Green Schools.

University City has added 25 solar panels to their schools and they installed 49,000 square feet of rain gardens for water conservation throughout their campuses. The district is also promoting holistic wellness across environmental health, medical health, mental health, and racial equity.

“As educators, we owe it to our students and our local and global community to be as responsive to and appreciative of the environment as possible. The environment includes our social-emotional well-being and support,” University City superintendent Dr. Sharonica Hardin-Bentley said. “Yes, racial equity matters! Our youth will be tasked with the restoration of our living planet while solving very real issues of scarcity, sustainability, and racially unjust systems. The Green Ribbon School designation is an honor that speaks to us and the future holistic wellness.”

Principia has restored 42 acres of forest and six acres of savanna in suburban St. Louis.

“We are so thankful to have received this award as it has allowed us to celebrate our accomplishments in integrating sustainability into our curriculum and practices,” Principia Sustainability Coordinator Lynne Scott said. “This process has also increased our intentionality around ways in which we can improve our practices moving forward as there is always more to learn and to do.”