Peasley Middle School has again been recognized as a Virginia Naturally school. Peasley was one of 52 schools to achieve the recognition for 2010, and is one of only four schools statewide that have earned the title for 12 consecutive years.
The Virginia Naturally schools program is administered by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and is the official environmental education school recognition program for the state. Its goal is to recognize exemplary efforts by schools to increase environmental awareness and stewardship among students. Schools must make annual application for the recognition.
Susan Walton, a former Peasley science teacher, spearheaded the project at Peasley for 11 years. Last year, seventh grade science teacher Stephanie Sowers took over the reins. Sowers said the school sought grant resources to have local Sassafras Farm add native plants to its existing wildlife area. Also, Walton worked with former assistant principal Sandra Hedrick to obtain a $2,500 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant to purchase over 50 landscape plantings that were installed by staff, students and other volunteers.
In addition, the school expanded its recycling program to include drink pouches, chip bags, batteries and printer cartridges, as well as paper and plastic. School librarian Elizabeth Southall heads up the Peasley paper recycling efforts.
Sowers said another goal was to have students build a bluebird trail. Teacher Walter Roy provided the wood and students built and installed the houses. Most of the houses now have occupants, Sowers reported.