Three Fairfax County Schools Awarded Eco-Schools USA Green Flag for Exceptional ‘Green’ Achievement
Honor indicates commitment to sustainable curricula and school operations
Reston, VA – Rachel Carson Middle School, Frost Middle School, and Marshall High School have been recognized by National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program for exceptional achievement in ‘greening’ physical structure and grounds, conserving natural resources and integrating environmental education into curricula. Fairfax County Public Schools has 105 registered Eco Schools, 15 that have reached Green Flag status, four of those with multiple green flags, Eco-Schools USA’s highest honor. The district also has 10 Silver level schools and 19 Bronze level schools and is a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon school district.
The Eco-Schools USA program, which is based on the work of student-driven teams dedicated to issues like recycling and energy conservation using sample materials, background information and teacher advice provided by NWF, claims more than 4,700 American schools across 49 states so far.
“We at National Wildlife Federation and Eco-Schools USA are proud of the example set by these three dedicated schools,” said Kim Martinez, Senior Director of Eco-Schools USA. “This award demonstrates not only a commitment to sustainability and environmental literacy for students and faculty, but an appreciation that the best, most effective education transcends the classroom and offers a hands-on approach to learning”
To win the Green Flag, students and faculty at Rachel Carson MS, Frost MS, and Marshall HS tackled a host of sustainability initiatives that began with forming an Eco-Action team; auditing facility energy efficiency, waste disposal and other environmental impact areas; and instituting environmental-themed curricula.
Rachel Carson Middle School received its Green Flag award on June 1, 2017. The students at Rachel Carson started an anti-idling campaign and reduced their carbon footprint by over 4,500 pounds of CO2. They are aiming to reduce the amount of trash they produce and students have also started a food sharing group.
Frost Middle School received its Green Flag award on June 3, 2017. The school received $8500 in grants from 4 different sources to fund Eco-Schools’ projects. Students at Frost installed 2 water bottle fillers, with Eco-Code bottles. They also donate 7 pounds of food to a shelter each day. Students at Frost are able to connect with nature and lower their carbon footprint by participating in Bike-to-School and spending time in their NWF Certified Schoolyard Habitat.
Marshall High School received its Green Flag award on June 4, 2017. The award was given in honor of achievements like saving 16,000 gallons of water and almost 114,000 kWH of electricity. They also participate in the GLOBE program and won the EPA Battle of the Buildings Competition for Water.
All the steps taken by students and faculty at these three schools help to raise environmental and natural awareness, cut waste, increase student engagement and save money for the school.
National Wildlife Federation was named the stateside host for the international Eco-Schools program in 2008. The original Eco-Schools (http://www.eco-schools.org/) program is an international network of 50,000 K-12 schools in 62 nations, started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. It was named by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003. To learn more about Eco-Schools USA, visit www.eco-schoolsusa.org.