Love the Water, a post written by Ms. Gump’s kindergarten class

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Ms. Gump’s class created a “floating trash island” on the blacktop from trash collected around the playground.

 Water is important. Everybody needs to drink water or we would be thirsty. Without water people would die. Every single drink is made out of water. You cannot have orange juice or milk without water. Without water, plants cannot grow and we would not have fruits and vegetables. If water goes away we will not be able to wash our bodies in the shower or bath. Without water we could not go swimming and exercise. Ocean animals could not swim and would die. Without water you would stay hot. We cannot clean our dishes without water. That is why water is so important to the Earth.

We can save the water. Here is how:

  • Turn off the water when you are soaping your hands.
  • Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth.
  • Take a fast shower.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl and then put the water on plants
  • Water plants outside in the morning or night before it gets hot.
  • Take shower instead of a bath.
  • Run the dishwasher or wash machine only when it is full.
  • Use all the water you take from the sink, don’t dump it down the drain.
  • Don’t throw tissues in the toilet and flush.
  • Turn off the dripping sink. If it is broken, get a plumber or an adult.
  • Turn off the sink when you are done.

The ocean is super important. Animals needs a place to swim and to eat. Humans need the ocean to fish for food. In the ocean there are trash islands. Trash islands are floating groups of trash. These islands are killing animals. The animals are eating the trash and dying. To stop the trash islands, people need to not throw trash in the water. Don’t throw trash near the water as well. Please take care and take action to keep our water clean and safe.

Eco-night & Art Walk: rain or shine!

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A fifth grade Exhibition group that focused on climate change planted the walnut seedling from Belvedere’s tree nursery.

Tonight at Belvedere :

  • Get up close to a banded cat shark, salamanders, sea horses, reptiles, bugs and a bee hive!
  • Meet students who are taking action to protect all living things.
  • Talk with scientists to learn about their important work to protect the planet.
  • Play with different kinds of soil and plant a seed in an ice cream cone or yogurt container to take home.
  • Write a poem out of stones in our new Poetry Garden in the courtyard. A scavenger hunt will be there as well.
  • See our newest tree (left), planted by students who collected the walnut and other tree seeds as first graders.
  • Every student will have art displayed on the school walls. That’s nearly 800 pieces of art!
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Fourth graders helped by removing the river birch that had died. The walnut seedling was planted in the birch’s place.

Eco-Night and Art Walk will take place from 6-8 p.m. Most activities will be outside the doors from the art/music hallway, leading to the trailers, or in the storytelling area. Food will be served in the cafeteria from 5:30-7 p.m.

In case of rain, most activities will be in the gym.


Mark your calendar for fun-filled, hands-on Eco-Night & Art Walk

On Friday, Belvedere will celebrate the beauty and mystery of the natural world, human creativity and human scientific endeavor at all ages. Join us!

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Seed sale on Tuesday – open to public


A scene from the 2016 sale.

Open to the public
8:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. (parking is easier after 9:30 a.m.)
6540 Columbia Pike, Falls Church 22041

Belvedere-collected veggies, cilantro, parsley and flowers $1.25 each
Also, Seed Savers heirloom seeds for $2 (these seeds retail for $3)
Cilantro and spinach transplants $1.25
Tell your friends!

REMINDER: Mini-seed sale tonight, 6:30-7 p.m.

In addition to our seeds, tonight we’ll also have a small selection of cilantro and spinach starters ($1.25). They are still pretty young, but you can nurture them in their compostable pots until it’s time to transplant. Planting is easy — you plant the pot and plant together!

Belvedere seeds are $1.25 and Seed Savers seeds are $2. CASH ONLY.

Questions? Email me at



3rd Annual Seed Sale moved to March 21 – tell your friends and neighbors!

The 3rd Annual Belvedere Seed Sale, organized and run (as usual) by our third grade, will be held next week instead of tomorrow thanks to Mother Nature. The students, who are studying economics, have been busy preparing for the sale: decorating seed envelopes, counting out and packaging seeds, labeling envelopes, voting on pricing and what to purchase with the proceeds, and training for jobs: merchandise manager, inventory, quality control, customer service and cashier.

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Tuesday, March 21
8:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.     Prices $1.25 and $2 CASH ONLY                Belvedere lobby          6540 Columbia Pike               The sale is open to the public, so spread the word!

If this Thursday’s PiP is still on, we’ll also have a sale teaser from 6:30-7 p.m. Some herb transplants may be available at this sale for $1.25. 

Seeds collected by Belvedere’s student Garden Club and donated by families and friends (thank you, alumna mother Terri Lamb and Garden Club co-coordinator Laura Noble!) will cost $1.25. A full list of seed types for sale is below.

The Seed Savers Exchange, known nationally for their excellent collection of rare and heirloom seeds, has sold Belvedere 250 packages of seeds at wholesale prices. These retail for $3, but you can buy them from us for $2. These include a bird and butterfly mix, a bee feed mix, three kinds of heirloom tomatoes (including one that grows well in pots), cilantro, parsley, Taiyo sunflowers, and Stone Mountain watermelon.

These varieties will be for sale for $1.25:Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 8.35.05 PM

Plants with an * are native. That means they originated in this area, are adapted to the climate and are low-maintenance. Once established, they don’t need watering except during severe drought.


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Outdoor Club pulls close community closer


Above: Members of Belvedere’s Outdoor Club brave sub-freezing temps to enjoy Saturday morning together at Lake Accotink. Spouses, siblings, and pets are welcome, too.


Once a month, on a Saturday morning, a bus pulls up at Belvedere and a nearby apartment complex to take students, parents, staff, spouses, siblings, and other relatives to a local park for a hike. Some families drive themselves or walk, meeting the bus at that month’s destination. This is the Belvedere Outdoor Club, new this year.


Outdoor Club members observe and photograph a trio of frogs floating in a hollow sycamore trunk at Huntley Meadows.

More than 100 families signed up to be in the club, and monthly participation has been high. On the hikes, adults and children of different cultures, religions, and backgrounds talk with each other, get excited about wildlife, and just enjoy being in the fresh air, often in a place they’ve never been before. The PTA paid for 15 pairs of binoculars, which have let us get incredible wildlife views, including those of a great blue heron soaring over the Huntley Meadows wetland and an eagle perched near its nest at Lake Accotink.


Above: The first trip was to Holmes Run. An earlier rain made the stream crossing an adventure.


A huge thanks goes to the Belvedere PTA, Title I grant funding, and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries eStore grant for providing transportation funding. These trips have allowed us to come together as a community in a new way, giving parents and staff time to talk in a relaxed atmosphere and providing students with a chance to experience the science they study in the classroom and to learn how to identify some common plants and animals. We hope to be able to continue the program next year. A few more photos from our trips are below.


Huntley Meadows on a glorious fall day.