GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — Gulf Shores City Schools was named a Green Ribbon School District in 2023, according to a GSCS news release.

GSCS is the only district in Alabama that received the award and are now nominated to receive the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School Award.

“The award recognizes schools that nurture and promote environmental sustainability education and practices,” reads the release.

“Being acknowledged as a Green Ribbon School is a testament to out district’s commitment to our core values and providing a learning atmosphere that is innovative and environmentally friendly,” said Gulf Shores City Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Akin.

The award focuses on three pillars:

  • Pillar 1: “Reducing environmental impact and costs”
  • Pillar 2: “Improving the health and wellness of students and staff”
  • Pillar 3: “Providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways”

Environmental education projects:

  • Schneider Electric partnership to replace lighting and air conditioning systems, improved air quality, and installed
  • solar features that are tied into the power grid to help reduce energy use.
  • New STEAM building at Gulf Shores Elementary School
  • Gulf Shores High School Farm-to-Table Program
  • Upgraded transportation program at GSCS with half of the fleet of buses replaced with ultra-low sulfur, clean diesel engine models, reducing carbon emissions by 89.5%
  • Science by the Shore outdoor, place-based science education program
  • All students have access to bicycles throughout the day to support outdoor learning and physical activity.
  • Comprehensive recycling efforts, composting, and water conservation
  • Partnership with Center for Ecotourism including a school visit from Jean-Michel Cousteau
  • Active health and wellness committee to support physical and mental health of students and staff