School gardens are such a terrific resource on so many levels, but it takes work to get one started, to maintain a program, and to hand it over when it’s time for key players move on. Fortunately, there are lots of resources out there to support parents and teachers who value outdoor learning and gardening programs. Read More
Since the April 2015 Growing Green Schools event, parents and school staff in Arlington Public Schools have made progress in school gardening efforts. Started in June 2015 and now running the first Monday of most months, the School Garden Meetups give parents, teachers, staff and community members an opportunity to share knowledge, discuss successes and challenges, and see different school garden and outdoor learning spaces around the county.
These are volunteer-led opportunities for interested parties to learn from one another about site-specific efforts around the county. In addition to this group, APS also has a Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, which was launched in 2012 with a team of volunteers from around the community. Now, there is new momentum toward funding a position to support all of these efforts. One of the just-released recommendations of the Science Advisory Committee is to “provide funding and support for one full-time Sustainability and Outdoor Learning Coordinator (SOLC) starting with the 2016-2017 school year.” Read More
The fourth annual School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) last week brought out nearly 1000 people to the Fairfax campus of George Mason University to learn and share about environmental stewardship.
The event was a joint project of NoVA Outside, Earth Force and the George Mason University Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center. The goal was to provide K-12 students with the opportunity to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities and to showcase their ingenuity to solve environmental problems by reducing waste, conserving energy, providing habitat for animal species, creating sustainable food programs, cleaning watersheds and more. More than 500 students from 47 schools participated.