REDMOND, Wash. — The U.S Department of Education announced Wednesday it’s honoring 14 school districts with a Green Ribbon award. Three of those districts are in Washington.

Lake Washington School District in Redmond, Lopez Island School District on Lopez Island and Oak Harbor Public Schools in Oak Harbor are being honored with the awards for excelling in teaching sustainability. 

“It’s really neat to know that we've been accomplishing something that people notice,” said Louise Witham, a teacher in the Lake Washington School District.

Witham and other teachers have spent more than a decade teaching students at Emily Dickinson Elementary School about sustainability by restoring wetlands next to the school. 

“I really like [the wetlands] because it’s fresh and I feel like I can breathe,” said fifth grader Piper Bergstrom

Students, teachers and parents have worked to build trails, grow plants and remove invasive species from the wetlands. 

Bergstrom said it’s helped her create a special bond with nature. 

“It’s really good to think, draw and hang out with friends,” said Piper

Only 35 school and 14 districts were given the award.