Henrico, Va. Sept. 26, 2019 – Ten schools in Henrico County have been recognized by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as Virginia Naturally schools for their efforts in supporting environmental conservation and stewardship. The state agency recognized a total of 66 schools across the commonwealth. Rivers Edge Elementary School has earned the designation for 11 straight years, and Short Pump and Twin Hickory elementary schools have been recognized nine years in a row. The Henrico County schools recognized for 2019 are:
- Rivers Edge Elementary School (11 years)
- Short Pump Elementary School (9 years)
- Twin Hickory Elementary School (9 years)
- Greenwood Elementary School (3 years)
- Kaechele Elementary School (1 year)
- Lakeside Elementary School (1 year)
- Maude Trevvett Elementary School (1 year)
- Ridge Elementary Schools (1 year)
- Seven Pines Elementary School (1 year)
- Three Chopt Elementary School (1 year)
To qualify initially as Virginia Naturally schools, schools must:
- Show support from school administrators.
- Integrate environmental education into their curricula and provide staff members with learning opportunities.
- Have a school action plan to reduce waste, save energy and water, and consider environmental health.
- Provide students with meaningful environmental field projects and experiences aligned with the Chesapeake Bay Act.
To qualify in additional years, schools must:
- Add more library resources for environmental education.
- Expand environmental education and sustainability efforts to the school’s grounds.
- Work with partners to develop long-term community involvement.
First-year Virginia Naturally schools receive a plaque. Schools that maintain their efforts receive a banner each year featuring one of Virginia’s state symbols – such as a cardinal, striped bass, dogwood flower or big-eared bat – to hang in the school. In addition to the annual banner, repeating schools choose from a list of workshops that help continue their efforts.
To find out more about the program, go to dgif.virginia.gov/education/school-recognition/.