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 stewardship 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 teacher professional development to assist teachers in running eco teams, working with students on Eco School USA activities, and in taking students outdoors for lessons.  Efforts are also underway to integrate curriculum areas to these project-based learning opportunities to also enforce the development of environmental knowledge and 21st century skills.   As FCPS works to implement the Portrait of a Graduate, Get2Green is working closely with FCPS Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) and Service Learning to create tools for interdisciplinary learning. 

students working in gardenstudent working in gardenstudent working in garden

Where are we now?

  • 65+ Registered Eco Schools with 5 Green Flags, the highest award and Eco School can achieve (Churchill Road ES, Centreville ES, Flint Hill ES, Lake Anne ES and Lainer MS)
  • 70+ additional school working on projects
  • 80+ wildlife habitats
  • 45+ Edible Gardens
  • Get2Green Principals meeting quarterly for the fourth year in 2014-15


Focuses for the 2014-15 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
(Schoolgrounds pathway)

Learn More

Provide resources to schools building wildlife habitat



(Consumption and Waste pathway)

Through HS team, provide recycling information to schools and conduct Recycling Mascot Challenge.

Dollars Saved

Energy Conservation

Collaborate with Cenergistic Energy Specialists to assist schools working on the Eco Schools Energy Pathway.

Dollars Saved

Sustainable Food

Collaborate with Golden Wellness Program to enhance work on Eco School Sustainable Food and Healthy Living Pathways.

Number  of Gardens Installed

eco schooleco school

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.  See the resources list at the end of this report.  

Through collaboration with initiatives FCPS is involved in such as Service Learning and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), enhancement of critical thinking and other 21st century skills, Get2Green can offer an avenue to achieve multiple goals at once.  

Due to the overlap of Get2Green’s instructional activities with Facilities and Transportation and Food and Nutrition departments, new partnerships are being forged within the school district. FCPS is growing and focusing activities under Get2Green to allow for greater efficiencies overall.  

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 already 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.

professional developmentprofessional developmentprofessional development



Recycling High School Communications and Marketing Plan:

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Get2Green and Ernst and Young are working with a multi-high school team to improve recycling education across FCPS. Schools represented on the team include: Stuart, Langley, TJ, Chantilly, Fairfax, and Herndon. If you would like to join the team or have questions, please contact us at: recycling@fcps.edu

What to Recycle

Recyclable Mascot Competition


Save the Date:

School Environmental Action Showcase
April 9, 2015
George Mason University, Fairfax


Principals Visit Island in Chesapeake Bay


School Blogs:

Lanier MS Blog

Belvedere ES Blog

Terra Centre ES Blog


Like us on Facebook:

Get2Green Facebook Page



Elaine Tholen
Environmental Educator


This web page contains links to one or more web pages that are outside the FCPS network. FCPS does not control the content or relevancy of these pages.

Webpage Curator

Rebecca Tenally

Last Updated

November 19, 2014