Edison High School Leads the State in Going Green

School partners with community stakeholders to protect environment, offer unique hands-on learning opportunities for students

PDF Version Photos/Press Kit

Aug. 16, 2016 | For Immediate Release

MINNEAPOLIS — On Sept. 9, Thomas Edison High School in Northeast Minneapolis will celebrate its transformation into a first-of-its-kind “Green Campus,” featuring state-of-the-art stormwater and energy-efficiency measures that together create an outdoor environmental laboratory.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m., just before the season’s first home football game. Students, teachers and local officials will gather on the school’s new plaza to mark the completion of a five-year effort to make Edison a model of green infrastructure.

“Edison’s green campus is an innovative project that will benefit students as well as neighbors. It’s a great moment for the community, and an example of what can happen when schools, local governments and neighborhood groups work together,” said Kevin Reich, Minneapolis City Council Member and Mississippi Watershed Management Organization Board Chair.

Highlights of Edison’s new green campus features include:

  • A stormwater re-use system will store up to 110,000 gallons of captured rainwater, which will be used to irrigate the new athletic field.
  • The school’s redesigned parking lot can capture and treat more than 47,000 gallons of polluted stormwater runoff at a time.
  • A “solar canopy” over the plaza (to be installed this fall) will generate enough energy to power up to 53 homes per year, offsetting 40 percent of the school’s electricity needs.
  • A new community garden and greenhouse will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students.
The newly installed tree trench in the parking lot at Edison High School.
Click here for downloadable photos of Edison’s Green Campus.

The stormwater infrastructure at Edison is projected to capture and treat an estimated 1.5 million gallons of runoff each year that would have otherwise drained untreated to the Mississippi River. Each of the new green campus features has also been designed in such a way as to be integrated into the school’s educational programming, such as Edison’s International Baccalaureate Biology courses, which have incorporated this impressive infrastructure as powerful learning tools.

“We are thrilled to have the state’s first green campus at Edison,” said Superintendent Ed Graff. “We see this as a way to strengthen the engagement of our students, while connecting learning to their environment and community.”

The school’s green campus initiative came about through a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Minneapolis Public Schools, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association.

The changes at Edison are also part of a neighborhood initiative to transform the area with new public art and green space, culminating in a first-of-its-kind community Green Campus.

“Over almost 20 years of community conversation and action, we have seen the Green Campus evolve into something bigger than we imagined, moving us forward in our goals surrounding community resilience and sustainability. We are excited to celebrate this phase of Green Campus development with all the project partners, and look forward to what the next 20 years could bring,” said HNIA Board President Jared Hoffman.


Friday, Sept. 9, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.


Edison High School Plaza (next to the gymnasium)
2030 Monroe Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(Google Map)


Kevin Reich, Minneapolis City Council Member and MWMO Board Chair
Eryn Warne, Edison High School Principal
Jenny Arneson, Minneapolis Board of Education Chair
Doug Snyder, MWMO Executive Director
Adelheid Koski, Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association

Media Contacts

Lisa Brock, Office of Minneapolis City Council Member Kevin Reich
Lisa.Brock@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-2201

Nick Busse, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
nbusse@mwmo.org or 612-746-4974

Dirk Tedmon, Minneapolis Public Schools
Dirk.Tedmon@mpls.k12.mn.us or 612-668-0227

Pamela Vertina, Edison High School
Pamela.Vertina@mpls.k12.mn.us or 612-668-1310

Adelheid Koski, Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association
a.koski@hnia.org, 612-202-7038

More Info

MWMO Project Page

mwmo_logo_small edisonlogo_small mpslogo_small hnialogo_small

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