The Howard County Public School System on Wednesday was named a U.S Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability award winner.
Howard is one of nine districts nationally and the only Maryland system to win this year's award.
"This award recognizes our commitment to environmental education and environmentally-friendly practices," Superintendent Renee Foose said in a statement. "I congratulate our students, staff, and community partners for their achievements and commitment to sustainable practices."
The award recognizes schools and school systems that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.
Northwest High School in Montgomery County and J.C. Parks Elementary School in Charles County also received Green Ribbon Schools awards.
"These winners exemplify Maryland's commitment to environmental education and to practices that will sustain our world for future generations," State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery said in a statement. "Northwest High, J.C. Parks Elementary, and the Howard County Public Schools have embedded environmental learning, classwork, and sustainable practices into their culture. We all benefit from the work being done in those schools."
Education agencies from 41 states and territories participated in the fourth year of the Green Ribbon Schools award program. Maryland schools have received national honors during each year of the program.
"These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. "The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement."