Since 2011, Sustainable Sandhills has partnered with Cumberland County (NC) Schools on the Go Green Initiative. This program aims to create resilient environmental, economic and social resources for current and future generations. Together, using our mutual resources, we are bringing sustainability to our educational system and the Cumberland County community. 

The Go Green Initiative is a comprehensive plan for administrators, teachers and students to incorporate sustainability practices into the daily operations of their schools. These practices include energy and water conservation and efficiency, waste management and recycling, pollution prevention, a No Idle program, and awareness and education. Green Teams comprised of school faculty, custodians, parents and students facilitate many of the projects with guidance from the Go Green Initiative Director. The Initiative Director also works with a Green Team Advisory Council to integrate sustainability into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. In addition, the Director plans and produces the Earth Day celebration for the schools each year and is responsible for the management of the Carbon Banks at three school system properties: the Education Resource Center, Sunnyside Elementary School and Gallberry Farm Elementary School.

Over 80 schools in Cumberland County are currently certified as “green” schools.

Learn more about the Go Green Initiative HERE.


Sustainable Sandhills is proud to work closely with the Academy of Green Technology at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, NC. Students from the Academy study advanced and innovative technologies such as solar power systems, weather balloons and drones and then apply those technologies to sustainability initiatives. For instance, Academy students have used drones to measure trees in and calculate carbon sequestration data for the Carbon Banks and to map threatened and endangered plant sites along the Cape Fear River.

Many AoGT students have pursued higher education opportunities in engineering and sustainability, and some of them have even served on Sustainable Sandhills’ Youth Board. 

Learn more about the Academy of Green Technology HERE.


The federal Department of Education has honored several Sandhills schools for their outstanding achievements in sustainability. 

Douglas Byrd High School (2019) and Walker Spivey Elementary School (2020) are Green Ribbon Award recipients in Cumberland County. Sandy Grove Middle School (2016) is a Green Ribbon Award recipient in Hoke County.

Recently, representatives of the United States Department of Education visited Douglas Byrd High School, Walker Spivey Elementary School and Sandy Grove Middle School. Principals, teachers and students at both schools demonstrated their sustainability initiatives to the delegation. Read more about the visit HERE.

Read more about the Green Ribbon Schools program HERE.

To inquire about the Go Green Initiative, please contact the initiative director Gloria Lengel HERE.