RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two Richmond Public Schools were honored by the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for their “green ribbon” efforts to make a positive change to the environment.

John B. Cary Elementary and Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts were recognized for their efforts to reduce environmental impacts, improve health and wellness and encourage effective learning.

Environmental efforts at John B. Cary Elementary School include community gardens and a reforestation project, walk bike days, and increased crossing guards to make active commuting easier for students who walk.

The 100-year-old facility at Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts was renovated with the environment in mind. Rain barrels next to modular classrooms are used to water butterfly gardens. Various school-time and family activities get the students outside to get active and connect to nature.

The two Richmond schools join 516 other educational institutions around the country that were awarded for their environmentally friendly efforts.