Eco Schools

Outdoor Spaces

About the Program

A County Initiative for the 21st Century

  • FCPS has formally partnered with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Eco-School USA program. In 2012, Navy Elementary adopted this program and was awarded the Bronze Award. The Eco-School USA program is based upon student-driven action teams that work on building eco-stewardship and awareness in their school and community. There are many pathways to fulfill these goals; Navy is currently pursuing Biodiversity, Schoolyard Grounds, Waste and Consumption, and Energy.

The Pollinator Garden

  • In the 2014-2015 school year, a dynamic team of Navy teacher and parents came together to expand the second-grade Pollinator Garden located between the 6th Grade Wing and the Kiss N’ Ride  Entrance. The team was awarded a FCPS Schoolyard Stewardship Mini-Grant that enabled the garden to double its size and create a space for outdoor, hands-on learning. All students engaged in an Earth Week project by painting the new entrance arbor and benches. First and Second Graders planted natives and annuals donated by our community. By year’s end, this new space was certified as a Monarch Waystation through Please visit, explore and enjoy our school habitat as it continues to grow! 

Navy’s Outdoor Classroom: The Courtyard

  • During the 2015-2016 work began to revitalize the most central part of our school, the Courtyard. During this year, Eco-Schools was awarded a grant from Miracle Gro to create an edible garden for students. That Spring, an herb and greens garden was constructed as well as Kindergartner’s planting pumpkins. Eagle Scouts have contributed to the global project. Varun Kota, replaced the benches and redesigned one of the beds to include Virginia native plants and a walkway throughout the terraced beds. In the summer of 2016 an irrigation system was also added to help maintain the edibles and native plant life. Eagle Scout, Justin Brady, has helped transform the Courtyard to an outdoor classroom. He build collaboration benches that can be configured for any size group. He also built a large movable chalkboard that can be used for presentations. The Courtyard is a place that will continue to evolve and provide a shady outdoor classroom for all.

Main Garden by the Playground

  • During the 2016-2017 school year, Girl Scout Troop 5424 earned their Girl Scout Silver Award by creating an new and inviting garden space using part of the existing Navy Main Garden. They weeded and mulched the space and planted Virginia natives including flowering perennials and grasses. They removed an overgrown rosebush, trimmed the existing tree, installed a kinetic sculpture and added inviting stepping stones throughout the garden space. Additionally, Troop 5424 created QR codes (placed in the ground next to select natives) that can be scanned. Visitors can learn about the garden’s plantings by scanning the codes.

Recycling Initiatives

  • The Eco Club is responsible for auditing the school recycling programs and making changes to increase recycling at Navy. Currently we follow FCPS recycling regulations. In addition, we also have continued to participate in two Recycling Programs, TREX Plastic Recycling, where in 206-2017 recycled approximately 700 pounds of plastic, placing 3rd in the Mid-Atlantic region with elementary school student enrollments of 801-1100 students. In the 2017-2018 school year we WON FIRST PLACE in our region by recycling almost 750 pounds of plastic. Our region includes states: DC, DE, KY, MD, OH, VA and WV. Through the Colorcycle program we recycled over 2,000 markers since we began participating in 2016. We hope for even bigger numbers next year as we continue to teach eco stewardship practices at home and school. You can find deposit containers for both programs at the Kiss and Ride Entrance and outside the Cafeteria.
  • During the 2016-2017 school year we encouraged students to increase recycling in the cafeteria. The Eco Club set up new procedures for students to follow and additional signage so students know what is acceptable! This program is successfully used by our entire school K-6.