FCPS Get2Green

About FCPS Get2Green

Get2Green was started several years ago by a group of active principals meeting periodically to share information and resources on their successes in using the environment as an integrating concept for instruction and community building.  Four years ago Instructional Services formalized this effort by defining the graduation of environmental stewards for FCPS as a combination of knowledge and student action.  To assist schools with a framework for student action, FCPS partnered with the National Wildlife Federation Eco-School USA program.  Through this program, FCPS efforts focus on developing student driven action teams within Eco Schools across the county.  These teams work on a variety of environmental topics (pathways) under the Eco-School umbrella.  In addition, we focus efforts on technical support and teacher professional development to assist teachers in running eco teams, working with students on Eco-School USA activities, and taking students outdoors for lessons.

Students holding Eco School FlagStudents holding planter pots


Where are we now?

  • 80 Registered Eco-Schools with 12 Green Flags, the highest award an Eco-School can achieve (Belvedere ES, Centreville ES, Chesterbrook ES, Churchill Road ES, Daniels Run ES, Flint Hill ES, Franklin Sherman ES, Haycock ES, Lake Anne ES, Lanier MS, Longfellow MS, and Rocky Run MS)
  • 70+ additional schools working on projects
  • 90+ wildlife habitats
  • 55+ edible gardens
  • Get2Green Principals meeting periodically for the fifth year in 2015-16


Get2Green Working with STEAM and Project-Based Learning

As FCPS works to implement the Portrait of a Graduate, Get2Green is also working closely with FCPS Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) and Service Learning to create tools for interdisciplinary learning.  Engaging in project and problem based learning opportunities with the environment as a context for learning, students have opportunity to use their content knowledge and 21st century skills to positively impact their environment.


Focuses for the 2015-16 School Year:

In addition to focusing on environmental management and environmental stewardship efforts, Get2Green is focusing in on the development and analysis of metrics to monitor the success of the program’s efforts on specific Eco School pathways listed below.

Focus Area

Ongoing Work


Urban Wildlife Habitat
Learn More
Eco-Schools BiodiversitySchool Grounds Pathway

Provide resources to schools building wildlife habitat

Schoolyard Habitat Biodiversity Handbook

Schoolyard Habitat Biodiversity Survey


Consumption and Waste Pathway

Provide resources to schools to increase recycling.

For example, providing new recycling and trash signs to support the Polystyrene Free by 2016 initiative.

Pounds of recycling

Energy Conservation
Energy Pathway

Collaboration with Cenergistic Energy Specialists to assist schools working on the Eco Schools Energy pathway.

Learn more about this collaboration here

Dollars Saved

Sustainable Food
Sustainable Food pathways icon

Collaboration with Golden Wellness Program, Culinary Arts and Fairfax County Dept of Health to enhance work on Eco School Sustainable Food and Healthy Living pathways.

Number of edible gardens installed

Wheel barrel PlantingMicroscope


FCPS and Community Partners


Why is this important?

The term “nature-deficit disorder” was coined by author Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods” to describe what happens to young people who become disconnected from their natural world. Louv links this lack of nature to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.
In addition, recent studies have shown that using the environment as an integrating concept has increased student academic achievement and enhanced student problem solving and critical thinking skills.  You can read more about this research at the Children & Nature Network
Get2Green can offer an avenue to achieve multiple goals at once through the collaboration with FCPS initiatives such as Service Learning and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).  
Get2Green’s instructional activities overlap with Facilities and Transportation and Food and Nutrition department goals. ¬†Instructional Services staff is integral to the new Sustainability Team representing multiple departments in FCPS.
There are state and national efforts moving forward to promote environmental literacy and green schools such as the US Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School program.  Get2Green is patterned along the lines of this national effort and is on the way to being a model for Virginia environmental literacy efforts.

Are you interested in learning more about being a partner with Get2Green?

Visit the FCPS Business and Community Partnerships site.

teacher and students group talking


Upcoming events:

School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS)
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Play Video: School Environmental Action Showcase


January 29, 2016 - FCPS Joins Green Schools Alliance District Collaborative

Sept. 30, 2015 - Congratulations to Centreville Elementary for being named one of the Top 10 Eco-Schools in the country!


What to Recycle

Sustainability in FCPS:

Energy Management Program
Energy Star
Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program
Recycling Program
Cafeteria Recycling
Fairfax Farm to School Program

School Blogs:

Lanier MS Blog
Belvedere ES Blog
Terra Centre ES Blog
Rocky Run MS Blog


Elaine Tholen
Program Manager
Environmental Stewardship

For all your recycling questions

Like us on Facebook

Get2Green Photo Gallery


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Webpage Curator

Rebecca Tenally

Last Updated

February 18, 2016