Pearl Schools

terrapin iconPearl Schools

Teachers & Students
2019-2020 Pearl School Award Application

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 in Virginia Beach can benefit from watershed presentations and classroom activities available on request, but subject to availability.

NTN Badge

Energy Audit Kit Form

Energy Audit Kit Index 

All resources are included in the Resource Guide (pdf link below) Please refer to the Index (pdf link above) to easily find desired page(s)

Energy Audit Kit Resource Guide and Videos


Congratulations to our 2017-2018 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.

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.


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.

Pearl School Award

Is your school a ‘Pearl’ School?

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 Informationa & Resources Guied 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

Education Programs

Coming Soon

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.


Project WILD and WILD Aquatic Teacher Workshops

Workshops available to schedule as a group please contact
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 

Workshops available to schedule as a group please contact
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




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.