Started in 2011, the GreenSpot for Kids program engages children on how they can help the Earth. In 2017 it expanded to include activities and lesson plans for a K-12 educators to engage their students.
Our cute ambassador, GreenSpot, was inspired by students. Get to know him better by reading the book GreenSpot and the Dots and find out what it means to be green. Students (and adults alike) can become green and have a positive impact in the neighborhoods we live in.
We encourage your family to join the Columbus GreenSpot Program. If all of us work together, we can keep Columbus green, and we’ll continue to have a beautiful place to live, work and play.
There are many resources available for your classroom or group. Check out our online resources (over 45 GreenSpot and non-GreenSpot activities and lesson plans!) where you can search by topic area (air quality, energy, ecology, etc.) or grade level.
Special call out! The GreenSpot Advisory Board compiled a list of local organizations that offer lesson plans and activities for K-12 educators. Take a look at the Green lesson plans flyer(PDF, 882KB) and the Green lesson plans and activities spreadsheet(PDF, 684KB). Email GreenSpot@columbus.gov for an Excel version.
If you teach 2nd graders (7 year olds) you can download our free materials:
- GreenSpot and the Dots Book(PDF, 3MB)
- 24x18 Activity Poster(PDF, 396KB)
- Implementation Guide(PDF, 476KB)
- Columbus Green Walks School Tour(PDF, 2MB) (learn about energy, water, transportation, and recycling) which includes worksheets on mapping your own route, creating your own storyboard, and natural resources.
- Community Resource Guide(PDF, 222KB) covering presentations, field trips, grants, supplies and services, reading recommendations for kids, and events.
- Program pre and post evaluation(PDF, 117KB)
More Information on Teacher Resources
Participating Classrooms and Schools
More than 100 classrooms have utilized the GreenSpot for Kids program. Is your school next? Let us know and we may highlight you on our website! Contact GreenSpot@columbus.gov to learn more.
Is your classroom designated as a GreenSpot? It’s easy and fun! All your class has to do is chose at least three things to conserve and protect water, conserve energy, and/or reduce waste. It could be starting a vegetable garden, installing a rain garden, starting a recycling program or other fun action. Simply fill out the Community Group application.
Did you know St. Mary School in German Village was the first GreenSpot designated school? They engaged students in planning and implementing a school-wide recycling program, a salsa garden, and composing program.
Indianola Informal K-8 is the first Columbus City School to be designated as a GreenSpot School. They developed a science project that challenged students to think about how to make the school and neighborhood green. This makes the connection between school and community and applies learning. Students formed an official Green Team. Part of their responsibility was to educate the younger students what they could do at home to live more sustainable. Examples include turning off water when they brush their teeth, turning off lights when they leave a room, and pick up litter when they see it.
They have implemented a recycling program for the bottles and boxes. They collect them at lunch time.
They have partnered with other groups like Franklin Park Conservatory on creating a garden lab and Keep Columbus Beautiful on addressing litter in the neighborhood.
To reduce their carbon footprint they have planted trees and grow trees to give away.
To become a GreenSpot School like St. Mary German Village and Indianola K-8, simply choose from a number of commitments your classroom and school can take to go green. Once designated a GreenSpot School you will receive a GreenSpot decal and recognition at the GreenSpotLight Awards Ceremony. Take a look at our GreenSpot Schools flyer(PDF, 776KB)!
GreenSpot Schools Manual(PDF, 2MB)
Events for Your Calendar
There are many events that happen each year where you can celebrate being green. See below for some of those events. If you have an event you’d like listed, please contact GreenSpot@columbus.gov.
Green Tips for Kids
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GreenSpot for Kids came together because of a partnership between Mayor Andrew J. Ginther's Columbus GreenSpot program and the Ohio Environmental Education Fund.