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The River-Friendly School Program helps teachers, students and school leaders reduce water pollution while creating new teaching opportunities, enhancing wildlife habitat and establishing a healthier environment for our children. Certification is offered at several different levels based on points achieved through lessons and hands-on projects in any of the four River-Friendly categories: water quality, water conservation, wildlife habitat and education & outreach. This certification program is offered to both private and public schools.







All schools are required to meet four baseline standards:

Standard 1: Lesson about water quality

Standard 2: Lesson about water conservation

Standard 3: Lesson about wildlife and their habitats

Standard 4: Share River-Friendly information with parents and the community

The River-Friendly School program is a tiered system, where schools can choose the level they would like to work towards. These levels, which we call "Advanced Stewardship", are based on points achieved through lessons and projects:

Stream Level - 10 points

River Level - 20 points

Watershed Level - 30 points

The program provides ongoing technical information, support and guidance for implementing environmental projects specific to the unique location, resources and needs of the facility.






Complementary Partner Programs

The River-Friendly Schools program works hand-in-hand with the following programs. Contact us to see how your actions in the programs below will count towards your River-Friendly certification!








Sustainable Jersey for Schools: Certification program for New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time. Launched in fall 2014, they are a nonprofit organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward schools as they pursue sustainability programs.



Eco-Schools USA Program:  International recognition program sponsored by the United Nations internationally, headed by National Wildlife Federation in the United States, and coordinated by NJ Audubon in New Jersey.


  • Protects natural resources and preserves New Jersey's native landscapes.

  • Provides public recognition for achievements through receipt of a River-Friendly School sign, a personalized award, certification ceremony and media announcements.

  • Incorporates environmental topics into the school curriculum.

  • Creates outdoor education opportunities for students, staff, parents and the community.

  • Maintains campus aesthetics and creates a positive learning environment.

  • Decreases water use.

  • Increases natural habitat and attracts beneficial wildlife.

  • Promotes a positive relationship between the community and the school.

Certified Participants

  • Alexander Elementary School: Baseline Level

  • Arthur P. Schalick High School: River Level (SJL&WT)

  • Bear Tavern Elementary School : Baseline Level

  • Bridgewater-Raritan High School: River Level

  • Carroll Robbins Elementary School: Baseline Level

  • Chapin School Princeton: Watershed Level 

  • Christina Seix Academy: Stream Level

  • Far Hills Country Day School: Watershed Level

  • Franklin Elementary School: Baseline Level (RRWA)

  • Holland Brook School: Stream Level

  • Hopewell Elementary School : Baseline Level

  • Hopewell Valley Central High SchoolRiver Level

  • Madison Elementary School: Baseline Level (RRWA)

  • Montgomery High School: Baseline Level

  • Princeton Day School: Watershed Level

  • Princeton Friends School: Watershed Level

  • Rahway High School: Baseline Level (RRWA)

  • South Orange Middle School: Baseline Level (RRWA)

  • Stony Brook Elementary School : Stream Level

  • The Bridge Academy of New Jersey: River Level

  • The Laurel School of Princeton: Baseline Level

  • The Pennington School: Watershed Level

  • Three Bridges School: Watershed Level

  • Timberlane Middle School: Baseline Level 

  • Toll Gate Grammar School: River Level

  • Waldorf School of Princeton: River Level

  • Whitehouse School: Watershed Level

In Progress Participants ​

  • Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart

  • Princeton Junior School

  • Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

  • Ridge and Valley Charter School

  • Rutgers Preparatory School

  • Thomas Edison Energy Smart Charter School

  • Unity Charter School

  • Van Derveer Elementary School

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