Mantua Teacher Part of Team Recognized by County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services

School News
January 03, 2018

A Mantua Elementary teacher is part of a team recognized with an Innovation Award by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services’ “Champion Awards” program. Mantua fifth grade teacher Michele Sullivan, along with Danielle Wynne and Chris Mueller from the Fairfax County Stormwater Planning Division and Heather Ambrose and David Alexander from the Fairfax County Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division, were recognized for their pilot project at Mantua Elementary School for developing an innovative concept of meeting educational and water quality goals.  For the project, Stormwater staff repaired an unmaintained rain garden at the school; students then replanted the facility as part of their watershed science curriculum. Typically, MSMD directs maintaining stormwater best management practice facilities.  In this case, Stormwater Planning and FCPS staff created a low-cost opportunity with MSMD contracting and funding the facility clean out and replacing rain garden filter and planting media.  Stormwater staff designed, selected, and purchased the new plants.  In particular, the new plants included milkweed - a food source for monarch butterflies that are studied as part of the second grade science curriculum. This innovative pilot project is a perfect example of County-wide agency collaborations bettering the community.  This approach has now been implemented with two additional elementary schools. Contact Michele Sullivan at