Belvedere earns top Eco-School award

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The Eco-Schools Green Flag is flying in the cafeteria, thanks to the hard work of staff, students and Green Team members for the last three years. Only 13 schools in Virginia have earned the Green Flag. Eco-Schools is a program of the international Foundation for Environmental Education; the US host is the National Wildlife Federation. According to the Foundation:

Eco-Schools is a fundamental initiative which encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it. It starts in the classroom where it expands to the school and eventually fosters change in the community at large. Through this programme, young people experience a sense of achievement at being able to have a say in the environmental management policies of their schools, ultimately steering them towards certification and the prestige which comes with being awarded a Green Flag. The Eco-Schools programme is an ideal way for schools to embark on a meaningful path towards improving the environment in both the school and the local community while at the same time having a life-long positive impact on the lives of young people, their families, school staff and local authorities.

To meet the Green Flag requirements, the Belvedere community, led by the Green Team and a parent-staff Eco-Committee,:

  • Expanded native plant/pollinator gardens and wildlife habitat on the school grounds,
  • Explored energy consumption and conservation in the month-long Cool Schools Challenge, and
  • Increased the biodiversity of plant life and the awareness of the role of plants in slowing and filtering stormwater runoff by planting and painting around storm drains.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our school’s transformation. You’ve made an important difference!

Also, a tremendous thank-you to our incredible community supporters, who’ve donated their time, expertise, funding, and enthusiasm: Bob’s Discount Furniture, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Clean Fairfax Council, the Disney Foundation, the Dominion K-12 Educational Partnership, the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, the Fairfax County Park Authority,  the Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division, Fairfax Master Gardeners, Fairfax Master Naturalists, the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park, Kitchen Gardeners International, the Northern Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited,the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, the Save Lucy Campaign, Seed Savers Exchange, the Virginia Bluebird Society, the Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Within Fairfax County Public Schools, we’ve had the good fortune to work closely and with strong support from the Get2Green program and the grounds division of Facilities Management.

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