Green Schools Program

The Green Schools Program connects schools and students to the valuable role we can all play in environmental protection through knowledge and action.

CWC partners with and is supported by the County of Santa Cruz to enroll schools to participate in the Green Schools Program and enact changes on their campuses to become more sustainable, water-wise and environmentally friendly. CWC works directly with administrators, teachers and staff to provide education in the classroom and school assemblies that inspire sustainable behaviors in students like carpooling, bringing a waste free lunch and reducing carbon footprints at home and at school.

Your school can benefit from the Green Schools Program:

  • Free environmental stewardship and literacy lessons. Lessons will increase students’ personal connections to nature and environmental literacy through hands-on activities and lessons.
  • Support in achieving California Green Business Certification. Build upon the great work taking place at your school and increase your school’s sustainable practices to improve community health and well-being. Receive technical support from the County of Santa Cruz to complete a Green Business checklist to reduce the environmental impact at your school. Green Business practices include: waste reduction, pollution prevention, energy efficiency and conservation, stormwater management and water conservation and protection.


Here’s how the Green Schools Program has made a difference at local schools:

“The Green Schools Program provided an engaging, in-depth, hands-on and high quality program to my fifth and sixth grade students. As a result of this program, the local impacts of climate change became very real to them (i.e. rising ocean, drought, watershed impacts such as saltwater intrusion and loss of habitat). They gained a clear understanding of concrete actions they can take to prevent global warming. They deepened their understanding of the science behind WHY our Earth is warming.”

— Kimberly Dudley, Mountain Elementary, 5-6th grade teacher

“My students had such a wonderful time learning through the Green School Program. The scavenger hunt around the school, as part of the Green Schools Blitz! lesson, was an eye-opening experience for students to identify storm drains, recognize placement of the trash cans around campus, and they noticed that we have no recycling cans outside, which is something we can remedy in the coming school year. Lessons that were taught by Mollie were refreshing and engaging and helped the children build their own sense of community in environmental awareness.”

— Angela Stone, Amesti Elementary, 4th grade teacher

“After completing a service learning project about climate change and the impacts on our watersheds, I now know even more about what is happening, I turn off lights, I carpool everyday to get to school, I walk as much as possible, I reuse and recycle plastic, my family only uses reusable bags when shopping and we don’t buy food with too much packaging. Also, Me and Ruby went to  a creek in Henry Cowell and we saw a deflated ball that had bottles, spray paint cans and styrofoam. We carried it to a trash can threw it away before it got washed into the creek.”

— Ariel, a student at Mountain Elementary

“Thank you for teaching us all about our watershed and how we can help keep it clean. I especially liked learning about the conductivity, pH, transparency, water temperature, and dissolved oxygen. I really liked the way you taught us and all the fun things you showed us. You encouraged me to see the world from a different perspective. I have been trying to do all the things that were in the assessment packet. I have picked up lots of trash in and around the creek. You have helped me become a better person.”

— Paul, a student at Mountain Elementary

Steps to Becoming a Green School

  1. Use the form below to contact CWC Education Coordinator Mollie Behn to learn how the Green Schools Program operates and the specific benefits for your school.
  2. Apply online at to set-up your Green Business certification checklist.
  3. Sign the Green Schools Pledge
  4. Work through the Green Business checklist with the support of the County of Santa Cruz.
  5. Schedule free environmental literacy lessons with Mollie Behn

Learn how your school can become a Green School today!