February-March 2022

Did you know there are many ways to engage in MN GreenStep Schools? Read more in our how to get involved section, including ways to participate in the MN GreenStep Schools Solar Schools Blitz!, with support from MN Clean Energy Resource Teams!

In this month’s resources update we welcome the MN GIS Education Hub that supports schools using Geographic Information Systems and Science across disciplines.

In our program news section, you can learn about a pilot dashboard to show how some green schools are addressing water conservation goals.

How to Get Involved

Youth-led projects (such as these YES! project teams pictured) are one of our favorite kind of Project Stories

7 Ways to Get Involved in MN GreenStep Schools

  1. Sign up on the interest form to become part of our mailing list, show support, introduce yourself to the green schools network

  2. Gather a green team and get your school and district informed about MN GreenStep Schools. Did you know there is a slide show template and other resources you can use to start planning for a MN GreenStep Schools Resolution? Did you know the program is free, voluntary, and flexible?

  3. Work to achieve MN GreenStep Schools Step Level 1 recognition. There are two parts to this: form a green team, and pass a district school board resolution to participate in the program.

  4. Participate in the MN GreenStep Schools Solar Schools Blitz! with support from MN Clean Energy Resource Teams. Learn More about how to Share your Solar Success, Find your Solar Potential, Picture your Solar Future, and Explore Solar Resources for action and learning from MN GreenStep Schools, CERTS, and more. You can participate, even if you haven't joined MN GreenStep Schools yet.

  5. Share your green school project story to show your progress and inspire other schools.

  6. If you are an organization that can help schools achieve their green school goals, become a MN GreenStep School Resource Organization to help schools find you.

  7. Follow MN GreenStep Schools on Facebook and Twitter.

These are just some of the ways to get involved, with more opportunities to come.

Resources Update

Resource Organizations

What is a MN GreenStep School Resource Organization?

MN GreenStep Schools Member Resource Organizations help schools in their efforts to grow. Read about our latest Resource Organizations to join and consider being next… Go to the Resource Organizations Page to sign up.

Who can be a resource organization? Any organization or individual that has something to offer to schools trying to green their facilities, operations, or programming.

MN GIS Education Hub

MN GreenStep Schools uses GIS and has plans to use more because it is a powerful tool to understand and communicate geographically. Increasingly, teachers and students in Minnesota are using GIS (usually with free education accounts) to teach, learn, and communicate across subjects. Here's how the MN GIS Education Hub can support your work:

The MN GIS in K-12 Hub supports and promotes the attainment of geospatial literacy and skills in Minnesota K-12 students. This site is maintained by a partnership of Higher Ed, GIS professionals, teachers, and researchers in order to advance best practices for teaching with geospatial tools in K-12 environments. The website at provides resources that support educators to integrate GIS into their teaching through training, geospatial data, and administrative support.

Locations Served: All of Minnesota

Contact: Stacey Stark



The MN GreenStep Schools profile page for the MN GIS Education Hub is coming soon!

Sustainability Internships Class, Sustainability Education at the Institute on the Environment

This program became a MN GreenStep Schools Resource Organization in spring 2021, and they continue to have a biannual call for those interested in connecting with an intern.

Do you have a need for a college student intern to work on a sustainability-related project?

Each fall and spring semester, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities offers SUST 4096: Sustainability Internships, a class that supports students in finding internships with a sustainability focus. Students intern for 4, 7 or 10 hours per week for a total of 14 weeks throughout the semester. Students in the class come from majors and programs across the university, but all of them share an interest in sustainability. If you have a project or position that you think could be a good fit for students in the class, reach out to Jess Jurcek ( for details about proposing an internship.

MN GreenStep Schools has worked with three interns from this program so far - it is a great resource and rewarding to provide a meaningful experience for the interns. We are glad to welcome the Sustainability Internships Class, from Sustainability Education at the Institute on the Environment as our newest Resource Organization Member.

Read more about the Sustainability Internships Class at their Resource Organization profile page.

MN GreenStep Schools Program News

New: Water Efficiency Best Practices Dashboard

BP1.5 Water Efficiency was one of the first best practice sections to be published but as a new pilot program, we didn't have examples schools in the program yet. To show some of the green school practices that have been adopted by leading projects recognized by the MN Green Ribbon Schools award, Intern Research Assistant, Kelly Alworth created a Water Efficiency Best Practice Action Dashboard, analyzing how MN Green Ribbon Schools examples matched MN GreenStep School best practice actions, and put this data on an interactive dashboard. The dashboard can filter the data based on topics of interest. This dashboard is now available for you to explore. More dashboards to explore best practices in green schools in MN are underway.

Explore the Water Efficiency Dashboard in Best Practice 1.5 Water Efficiency.

New Articles Section Launches - Opportunities to Contribute

Last newsletter, we announced the addition of an Articles Section, launched with a piece by Spring 2021 Intern, Annika Fisher. We'll be adding more articles by our intern team and are exploring contributions from our wider network. Are you interested in writing an article that can help teams green their school? If so, contact Jonee at

Read "Five Ways to Up Your Green Team Game" by Spring 2021 Intern, Annika Fisher

Explore how the insights of psychology can enhance your team's green school efforts.


MN Solar Schools Blitz

The MN Solar Schools Blitz is a statewide set of youth activities. Like a bio-blitz, the MN Solar Schools Blitz is an intensive period of time to learn about the natural systems in a specific place. While a bio-blitz usually focuses on identifying species in an event that may span days, our MN Solar Schools Blitz! will identify the existing and potential annual solar energy of schools throughout the state and explore the benefits. Youth in high school or younger, are invited to explore the sun's energy generating benefits at their school - on the roof, or on the ground. Guidance is provided and the results will be compiled on a statewide map. Learn more at the MN Solar Schools Blitz page.

Thanks to the contacts from Districts, Schools, Resource Organizations, and others
who have expressed interest in MN GreenStep Schools!

Interested in the program? Want to be on the mailing list? Sign up in the Interest Form...