Green Schools is a program of the USGBC West Michigan Chapter that teams together with the community to engage students, teachers, and parents in service learning projects across West Michigan. Our goal is to help create healthy and sustainable learning environments for future generations.

Green Schools Committee:

Rachel Leins | TRC Companies
Dave Heinz | Odawa Casino
Sara Rainero | Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Kristen Trovillion | Grand Rapids Public Schools
Renae Hesselink | Nichols

Sustainable Spotlight Scholarship

The Builders Exchange of Michigan and USGBC West Michigan have established a scholarship fund that will assist West Michigan students pursuing LEED Green Associate accreditation. The fund will provide financial assistance covering related exam fees. 

Students for Sustainable Design

The USGBC-WM organized a two day event where Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) students partnered with Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) K-12 students to audit a GRCC building and present their findings to GRPS administration.

Also included was a Q&A with 6 local industry professionals where the students could learn more about Green Jobs.

Check out the video highlight here

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Green Schools Mentor Project

In 2019, we are rolling out robust auditing project using mentors from top green building professionals in the community who are committed to overseeing the audit process and calculating Return on Investments, Net Present Values, etc.  The intention is to leave the schools who are involved in the project with a document that can be used to help make retrofit decisions while simultaneously helping the students understand the costs & benefits associated with building upgrades.

Past Projects:

Green Apple Day of Service

The Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service projects. This is a great opportunity to engage the community in our efforts towards a better future.

The USGBC West MI chapter has partnered with the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) to improve the grounds and manage a stormwater issue at GRPS’ Burton Elementary/Middle School. 

While GRPS is the current focus of the Green Schools Program, the USGBC is always looking for other educational projects in the community to get involved in. If you have a school in need of a Beautification project, contact the USGBC West Michigan Chapter for volunteers and support.

USGBC West Michigan 2016 Hack-a-thon

On February 12, 2016 nearly 50 professionals from the following backgrounds; architects, engineers of all types, construction managers, facility planning and managers, landscape designers, and interior designers, gathered together to brainstorm about providing healthy spaces for students to learn, specifically for students of Grand Rapids Public Schools.

A Hack-a-thon follows a specific process which will be used to identify options for GRPS to consider.  The group was split up into seven teams who were assigned one of seven school buildings that GRPS will be renovating or constructing.  Carefully chosen facilitators lead each team through several rounds of brainstorming starting with a vision of what green schools may look like 100 years from now.  Each round they brought the ideas closer to reality, closer to what they may look like tomorrow or next year.