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The Encouraging Environmental Excellence in Education (E4) Program recognizes any K-12 public or private school for their achievements in environmental stewardship and efforts to educate and involve students on environmental topics. This program has three recognition classes that are based on how students “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” (3Rs).

Root Class – School demonstrates activities in one of the 3Rs; environmental education and stewardship is included in the curriculum; students have opportunities to participate in environmental activities.

Branch Class – School demonstrates activities in at least two of the 3Rs; environmental education and stewardship is interdisciplinary through all grade levels; students have opportunities to participate in STEM programs of green clubs.

Leaf Class – School demonstrates activities in all 3Rs; environmental education and stewardship is interdisciplinary, and curriculum is progressive; student-led environmental initiatives; the community beyond the school is encouraged to participate in environmental activities.

In recognition of their efforts and accomplishments, all three classes will receive a certificate of recognition signed by the Director and recognition on Ohio EPA’s website. Those in the branch class will also receive an E4 window sticker decal. The leaf class will also receive an E4 flag and, schedule permitting, an award ceremony at the school. E4 applications are accepted at any time. An individual school, school system or portion of a school system can apply.

For more information and application instructions, visit epa.ohio.gov/ocapp/ohioe3. If you have questions or need help, please contact Kelsey Heyob at kelsey.heyob@epa.ohio.gov or (614) 705-1013.