Discovery’s 3rd Green Flag Award

Discovery Elementary School was recognized by National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program for exceptional achievement in educating for sustainability, improving the environmental footprint of the school grounds, facility and curriculum. It was awarded its third prestigious Green Flag, the Eco-Schools highest honor. Discovery was first awarded the Green Flag in 2017, and recertified in 2019 with its second award. This third award means one more recertification in 2023 will make Discovery a permanent lifetime achieving Green Flag School. With more than 5,000 schools in all 50 states, the Eco-Schools USA program, is based on the commitment and work of student-driven teams dedicated to issues such as waste reduction and energy and water conservation using audits, action plans and other educational resources.

“We at the National Wildlife Federation and Eco-Schools USA are proud of the example set by Discovery Elementary in Virginia,” said Kim Martinez, Senior Director of K-16 Education Programs. “This award demonstrates not only a commitment to sustainability and environmental literacy for students and faculty, but an appreciation that the best, most effective education transcends the classroom and offers a place-based, hands-on approach to learning.”

To receive the Green Flag, Discovery’s students and faculty tackled a host of sustainability initiatives that began with forming an Eco-Action team; auditing facility energy efficiency and other environmental focus areas; and engaging and building community. These steps led to the numerous initiatives and strategies that have been highlighted on this website and our social media over the past six years, all designed to raise environmental awareness, connect students to the natural world, improve the schools environmental footprint and increase student engagement, while saving money for APS.

The National Wildlife Federation was named the stateside host for the international Eco-Schools program in 2008. The International Eco-Schools program ( is a network of over 50,000 K-12 schools in 67 nations, started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support from the European Commission. It was named by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003 and in 2016 were included as members of United Nationals Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Global Action Program (GAP).

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The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrives in a rapidly changing world.