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Green teams are interactive, educational programs that empower students and staff to help the environment through waste reduction, energy and water conservation, and environmental education. Students who participate in a green team promote environmental awareness, conservation efforts, and community engagement and cohesiveness to Cedar Rapids Community School District staff and students. These student-led teams have been instrumental in CRCSD sustainability initiatives since 2013.

Through hands-on experiences, students learn to identify, analyze, and respond to environmental issues. These projects are made possible through the support of passionate and generous sponsors, partner organizations, and donations. By participating in green teams, students garner respect for how the world is interconnected and become leaders of positive change.

Active green teams involve students in actionable goals for a positive impact on society and the environment. Teams may participate in the following activities, and are encouraged to promote them as school-wide efforts:

  • School-wide recycling
  • Vegetable and herb garden maintenance
  • Flower bed maintenance
  • Grounds litter clean up
  • Outdoor compost bin maintenance
  • Wildlife habitat areas (feeders, bird houses, etc.)
  • Disposal of indoor compost from food waste and paper towels
  • School energy, water, and waste awareness programs

Questions? Contact

Green bucks award

Green bucks awards are provided to our green teams through the PPEL grant. Each award is worth $5,000 for teams to use towards technology updates, facility upgrades, and landscaping projects for their school.

Schools with active green teams may apply for green bucks awards each spring.

2020-21 award winners

Erskine Elementary School

  • Energy Conservation Award
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse Award

Grant Wood Elementary School

  • Green Landscaping Award
  • Water Conservation Award

Viola Gibson Elementary School

  • Outdoor Learning Award

McKinley STEAM Academy

  • Community Involvement Award
  • Green Forward Thinking Award

Cedar River Academy at Taylor

  • Waste Prevention Award
  • Teach to the Power of Green Award


Thank you to our 2020-21 green team sponsors!

  • Baker Group
  • Hawkeye Communication
  • US Bank
  • Window World
  • Cedar Rapids Thursday Noon Optimist Club
  • Streff Electric

In-kind sponsors

  • City of Cedar Rapids ReLeaf Program
  • EcoCare Supply Co.