The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources’ (DWR) Virginia Naturally Schools is the official environmental education school recognition program of the Commonwealth. The goal of the program is to recognize those exemplary efforts undertaken by Virginia schools to increase the environmental awareness and stewardship of its students. The schools’ environmental efforts also support the Profile of a Virginia Graduate through the development of the students’ Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking and Civic Responsibility.
After a two year hiatus, the recognition program returned and recognized thirty-five schools for their efforts during the 2021-22 school year. Seventeen schools were recognized for the first time since the recognition program’s inception in 2000 and the remaining schools received repeated recognition for their continued progression. Three schools earned their 21st year of recognition.
Providence Elementary School was named for the first time this year. The school has an extensive outdoor learning program with a large outdoor courtyard for students. The courtyard contains a weather station, vegetable gardens, vocabulary brick path, and a vernal pond that hosts a mother duck and ducklings each year.
Daniels Run Elementary School earned its 14th Virginia Naturally Award. Daniels Run ES also has an large outdoor classroom for students with a designated monarch way station and learning courtyard.
For more information on the Virginia Naturally Schools Recognition Program, visit: dwr.virginia.gov/education/school-recognition/.