Pearl Schools

terrapin iconPearl Schools

Teachers & Students

Lynnhaven River NOW actively partners with schools, both public and private, located within or serving students from the City of Virginia Beach, to provide projects, presentations and programs emphasizing water quality education and environmentally focused curriculums. Schools located within this service area in and around the Lynnhaven River watershed can benefit from watershed presentations and classroom activities available on request, but subject to availability.

NTN Badge

Lynnhaven River NOW 15th Anniversary Quilt Project 

This quilt project was created in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Lynnhaven River NOW. The theme is “Watersheds and Me”. Students were asked to create a quilt square to represent that theme, whether that be a place, activity, animal, plant, landscape, etc. that embodies their feelings about the watershed and how they are connected to it.

The quilt squares were created with a variety of materials. These materials were chosen to best stand up to the tests of time so that the quilts could be appreciated and admired for years to come. They included:
• Fabric Markers
• Fabric Paint
• Sewing/Applique/Cross-stitch
• Archival Quality Markers
• Crayons
• Acrylic paints

Each quilt square is accompanied with the name of the designer, the school they attend, as well as a brief explanation of the design. The explanation could be a simple description or something more creative such as a poem. This information has been placed in this binder to give an insight into the purpose and reason for the designs. This binder will travel with the quilts to all of the Anniversary events.

Now that the quilts have been put together, we created a digital quilt “binder” that can be viewed online at any time so that this amazing project can be appreciated by a much wider audience. To view the quilt, click on the link below. Simply enter presenter mode and follow the directions on the screen.

We would like to thank each and every student who participated in this project. This unique piece of art celebrates the relationship between Lynnhaven River NOW and the great schools of Virginia Beach and is a wonderful tribute to the watersheds of the area.

We would also like to give a special thanks to the women who created the quilt. Thank you to Julie Erickson, Norene Skiles, Paula Harr, and Sandy Best to all the work that you put in to create this beautiful work of art.


Congratulations to our 2015-2016 Pearl Schools

Schools must apply for the award each year. They qualify by reaching the required number of points for the various environmental education projects and programs they have completed throughout the year. We are happy to say that each year, the schools qualifying for this award increases, demonstrating that our Virginia Beach teachers are dedicated to offering excellent environmental education opportunities for students in all of our schools.

Pearl Schools 2015-2016

Pre-K/K Programs:
All Saints Episcopal Day School– NEW
Barefoot Kids Christian Day School
Old Donation Episcopal Day School
Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center–NEW
Elementary Schools:
Alanton Elementary
Bayside Elementary
Bettie F. Williams Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Centerville ES– NEW
Christopher Farms Elementary
College Park Elementary—5 years
W. T. Cooke Elementary
Corporate Landing Elementary
Creeds Elementary
Fairfield Elementary
Glenwood Elementary
Hermitage Elementary
John B. Dey Elementary
Kempsville Elementary
King’s Grant Elementary—10 years
Kingston Elementary
Linkhorn Park Elementary
Lynnhaven Elementary
Malibu Elementary
New Castle Elementary—10 years
Newtown Elementary
North Landing Elementary
Ocean Lakes Elementary
Parkway Elementary
Pembroke Elementary
Pembroke Meadows Elementary
Point O’View Elementary–NEW
Princess Anne Elementary
Providence Elementary
Red Mill Elementary
Rosemont Elementary
Rosemont Forest Elementary–NEW
Salem Elementary
Seatack Elementary
Shelton Park Elementary
Strawbridge Elementary
Tallwood Elementary
Thalia Elementary
Thoroughgood Elementary
Three Oaks Elementary
Trantwood Elementary
White Oaks Elementary
Windsor Oaks Elementary—5 years
Windsor Woods Elementary
Middle Schools:
Bayside (7th/8th grade only)
Brandon Middle—5 years
Corporate Landing Middle
Great Neck Middle
Independence Middle
Kempsville Middle School
Landstown Middle
Lynnhaven Middle
Plaza Middle – 10 years
Princess Anne Middle
Salem Middle– NEW
Virginia Beach Middle
High School:
Bayside High
First Colonial High
Frank W. Cox High
Green Run High
Kellam High
Kempsville High
Landstown High
Ocean Lakes High
Princess Anne High
Salem High
Tallwood High—5 years
Multiple Grade Levels:
Cape Henry Collegiate
Hebrew Academy of Tidewater –NEW
Kemps Landing Old Donation School
Norfolk Academy
Norfolk Christian School – Beach Lower School
Renaissance Academy
Virginia Beach Friends — 10 years

Many projects can be initiated at schools to add outdoor learning opportunities on grounds while also helping to improve water quality. Schools can install Rain BarrelsScoop the Poop BoxesRain Gardens, or Buffer Gardens to green their school grounds with valuable learning components. Gardening Oysters to be planted on the Lynnhaven River allows students to study living systems and watershed ecology in a hands on, real world restoration project.

In addition to project support, Lynnhaven River NOW recognizes schools providing outstanding environmental education with the Pearl School Award. Any school within Lynnhaven River NOW’s service area is eligible to apply.

Classroom programs such as Growing Wetlands in the Classroom and World Water Monitoring Day offer educators the chance to bring wetland education into the everyday classroom experience.

Professional development opportunities are available for teachers throughout the year in Virginia Beach Schools sponsored trainings as well as independent workshop opportunities.

Students can apply for a various Internships that offer experience working with a grassroots, environmental organization focused on local water quality issues. These volunteer positions provide valuable, real-world experiences that help to enhance college applications and resumes.

Pearl School Award

Check out the “Ten Months of Pearl School Activities” for fun ideas!

2016 – 2017 Pearl School Award application is due Friday, March 3rd by 5pm.

Teachers in the Lynnhaven River watershed are some of the most effective spokespeople for water quality and environmental stewardship in our area. They do a great job not only helping students understand watershed concepts but also in developing an ethic of environmental responsibility.

The goal of the Pearl School Award Program is to encourage and support these efforts of teachers and schools. Through the Pearl School Award program, schools will be able to earn points by carrying out programs and service projects in and through their schools that teach environmental concepts and include an emphasis on our watershed, its unique characteristics and problems. Students are encouraged to take an active role in tackling some of our environmental challenges through service projects in their schools and community.

Schools accumulate points for projects outlined in our Pearl School Program flyer. Projects not included in this flyer can be considered but points will be awarded through the discretion of Lynnhaven River NOW staff. To be eligible for the Pearl School Award, elementary school must accumulate at least 100 points for the first award year and 50 points for each consecutive award year. Middle and High Schools must accumulate a minimum of 150 points the first award year and at least 75 points for each consecutive award year.

To apply, download the Pearl School Informational Brochure and Pearl School Application.

For questions, call 962-5398 or email Jody Ullmann, LRNow Education Coordinator.

Click here to see past Pearl School Award-winning Schools.

Growing Wetlands in the Classroom

Wetlands ImageLynnhaven River NOW and the Elizabeth River Project partner to provide the Growing Wetlands in the Classroom program sponsored by Dollar Tree Corporation’s Corporate Giving program. Lynnhaven River NOW provides the program to schools within the City of Virginia Beach and Elizabeth River Project provides the program to schools within their watershed, with the exception of Virginia Beach schools.
The Growing Wetlands in the Classroom program is a classroom opportunity that allows teachers and students to grow wetland plants in their classrooms and schoolyards which will be transplanted in a local wetland or stormwater area. The program, sponsored by Dollar Tree, covers all of the equipment and plant costs, as well as the mandatory teacher training.
Wetlands ImageThe classes grow salt-tolerant or freshwater wetland plants, depending on the planting locations for that year. The most recent plantings occurred at Mt. Trashmore Park and can be easily seen within protective enclosures (goose fencing) along Lake Trashmore, between the picnic shelters and the main Edwin Drive parking area.

For program specifics, click here.
Dollar Tree Associates work with Kingston Elementary School students to plant Spartina alterniflora (Smooth cordgrass) along Crab Creek at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp. 2008

A lush shoreline of freshwater wetland plants at Lake Trashmore, planted by students from Virginia Beach schools after a summer of growth. 2012

World Water Monitoring Day

World Water Monitoring DayWorld Water Monitoring Challenge™ is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.

In 2011, approximately 340,000 people in 77 countries monitored their local waterways. We challenge you to test the quality of your waterways, share your findings, and protect our most precious resource!

Visit the official webpage for World Water Monitoring Day or contact your local partner Lynnhaven River NOW by emailing Jody Ullmann for more information.

Professional Development

Professional development opportunities are available for teachers, both public and private, throughout the year. Pre-approval of credit may be required through your principal or school system. Follow your school system’s requirements to assure proper credit.

2013-2014 Teacher Development Opportunities:
Contact Jody Ullmann or call 962-5398 with any questions.

Rain Gardens as a Teaching Tool Workshop
August 1, 2013 – FILLED
8 am – 4 pm
Great Neck Middle School
Does your school have new rain gardens designed to help control stormwater runoff? There are many ways that you can use these new gardens as a curriculum tool. At this workshop you will learn more about rain gardens and receive activities and lesson plans that you can utilize in your classroom.

For Virginia Beach Public School Teachers, please register for these courses through your Professional Development Program (PDP). For all other teachers, please email or call our office at 757-962-5398.

Wetlands 101 Teacher Workshop
August 13, 2013 – FILLED
8 am – 4 pm
Cox High School
This course provides a basic introduction to wetlands, how wetlands work and their importance within the watershed. It is appropriate for upper elementary, middle and high school teachers. Teachers will leave with hands-on activities to introduce or supplement their wetlands curriculum.

For Virginia Beach Public School Teachers, please register for these courses through your Professional Development Program (PDP). For all other teachers, please email or call our office at 757-962-5398.

Wetlands 201 Teacher Workshop
August 15, 2013 – FILLED
8 am – 12 pm
Pleasure House Point
Wetlands 201 is appropriate for teachers who have completed the Wetlands 101 course and have a basic understanding of wetlands. This half day workshop is a field study of wetland functions and dynamics. Exploring wetlands areas, teachers will develop a more in-depth understanding of the crucial role of wetlands areas, their ecological and economic values, and the importance of wetlands as habitat. Teachers will leave with field activities that can be implemented with your students.

For Virginia Beach Public School Teachers, please register for these courses through your Professional Development Program (PDP). For all other teachers, please email or call our office at 757-962-5398.

New Teacher Oyster Gardener Workshops 
By Oyster Reefkeepers of Virginia
October 5, 2013
9 am – 12 pmThis course will highlight the oyster’s critical role in the Lynnhaven ecosystem and prepare teachers to conduct an oyster restoration project with their students during the upcoming school year. At the workshop, we will provide teachers with a lecture on oyster reef biology, history, ecology and restoration, plus we will guide teachers through construction of oyster gardening equipment and use of water quality monitoring tools. For more information about this program, email Laurie Sorabella or call 757-460-1200. Space is limited. The course is appropriate for elementary through middle school teachers who are not currently involved in oyster restoration.

Project WILD and WILD Aquatic Teacher Workshops
Project WILD and Project WILD Aquatic are two of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school. The Project WILD K-12 Activity Guide offers learning opportunities through a focus on wildlife and habitat, while the Project WILD Aquatic K-12 Activity Guide emphasizes aquatic wildlife and aquatic ecosystems. Each is based on the premise that young people and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world. Emphasizing wildlife because of its intrinsic value, Project WILD addresses the need for human beings to develop as responsible citizens of our planet. For more information about the Project Wild curricula, visit

Project WET Teacher Workshops 
Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is a nationally developed, supplementary water education program for educators — public and private school teachers, youth club leaders, museum staff and others. Project WET is designed to teach students how to think, rather than what to think. The program shows that wise water management is essential to the future social and economic prosperity of our country. Project WET addresses atmospheric water, surface water, ground water, cultural and historical uses of water, and contemporary water management issues such as non point source pollution. Professionally developed teaching aids are hands-on, self-contained, and user-friendly. For more information about the Project WET curriculum, visit

Flying WILD Workshop
Celebrate birds with Flying WILD, a conservation education guide featuring interdisciplinary hands-on classroom activities along with information for engaging students in a school-wide bird festival. Key concepts include migration, adaptation, the importance of habitat, and bird conservation efforts. Designed originally for middle school teachers and students, the guide contains activities suitable for all grade levels. All participants will receive a copy of the Flying WILD Activity Guide and supplementary materials on birds.

Going Green: An Introduction Model to Involve Students in Community and Educational Projects
This course is appropriate for elementary and middle school faculty and staff. In this half day program, we will look at ways of “greening” your school, involving your whole school, identifying partners, easy projects and programs to get started and a look at the successes of a couple of local schools on organizing “Green” projects, such as a River Keepers program.

Understanding Watersheds
This revised two-day course will begin with a classroom component which covers watershed basics, links between land use, runoff and water quality, and related environmental issues. The second day of this course will be spent aboard a Chesapeake Bay Foundation boat investigating water chemistry and its link to water quality. The course will focus on sampling techniques and equipment relevant in an upper school setting. This course is appropriate for high school science teachers.



You can help restore the legendary Lynnhaven. Get involved with Lynnhaven River NOW today,
Or consider a donation through our online store.



PEARL HOMES are places where people care about our environment and want to do what they can to l help protect our resources.



We all want to do our part to restore the health of all of our sacred waterways and protect them for future generations to enjoy.