Over the past decade, Chisago Lakes School District has expanded its tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, fine arts, and community education to include programs, projects, and curricula that focus on reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. Our efforts have been rewarded with the honor of receiving the US EPA Tools for Schools Leadership Award in 2010, the Xcel Energy Efficiency Partner Award in 2012 and the prestigious US Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award in 2014.
At Chisago Lakes School District, energy savings and reducing environmental impact are of extreme importance. When looking at new projects or initiatives we are not only looking at savings, but also how we can use them as teaching tools for our students. We strive to educate our students on sustainable healthy living and teach them how to make responsible choices moving forward in life, while keeping the environment in mind. Through this, we hope to empower them to create change and make a difference for our future.
Chisago Lakes School District currently has three outdoor classroom spaces. These spaces were constructed with funds raised by students, staff and community members.
Our outdoor classrooms provide opportunities for all students to gain knowledge and obtain skills in a natural environment, while at the same time develop an understanding, appreciation, and respect for the environment.
A rain garden is a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from roofs, driveways, walkways, and parking lots, the opportunity to be absorbed. The purpose of a rain garden is to improve water quality in nearby bodies of water. Rain gardens can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching our lakes. 
Chisago Lakes' ten rain gardens are located at various locations around the properties where they will most effectively capture, treat, and infiltrate the first inch of rainfall before it enters the storm sewer system and is directed into the lakes our property borders.
The first inch of rainfall is the initial flush of storm water that comes off our building's roofs and parking lots that contains pollutants and sediment. Through the installation of these rain gardens, phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment will be captured by the plants and allowed to settle out before the water enters the lakes.
 "Rain Garden." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.