Jody Ullmann, Director of Lynnhaven River Now (LRNow) Pearl School Program, received the 2017 Garden Club of Virginia Conservation Educator Award. Nominated by the Princess Anne Garden Club, the award was presented at the 59th Annual GCV Conservation Forum, October 27 in Charlottesville.

Jody has been a passionate environmental educator since the late 1970s. Throughout her career as science teacher, storyteller, garden teacher, education consultant, museum consultant and grant writer, her passion for science, the environment and for working with children has been evident.

Since joining LRNow in 2013, Jody has doubled the number of Pearl Schools in Virginia Beach, with plans to reach a goal of 100% participation in 2017.

She has been instrumental in developing a number of educational programs:

  • The Growing Wetlands Project provides grow-lab systems, grow lights and plant plugs to grow wetland plants in the classroom. Students transplant the plants around the city, and the project has restored Spartina grass to the shoreline of Crab Creek, the lake at Mt. Trashmore, floating wetlands on stormwater ponds at Hampton Roads Sanitation District properties, schools, and the shoreline at Pleasure House Point.
  • Train the Teacher is a workshop based training program to educate teachers on topics ranging from wetlands, watersheds and stormwater runoff to starting a green club at the school.
  • The Science Preschool Activity Time (SPAT) program for preschoolers allows 3-5 year olds to bring their favorite adult out to Pleasure House Point and the Brock Environmental Center for crafts, stories, music and outdoor adventure. These programs are designed and taught by retired teachers and librarians.
  • Trashion Show is an annual fashion show produced by middle and high school students and teachers featuring clothes made exclusively from trash such as plastics, newspapers and straws.
  • The Bucket Program (Bundled Curriculum Kits for Environmental Teaching) is built around hands-on, project based learning activities for students of all ages.
  • The “Watersheds and Me” quilt project was designed to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of LRNow. Each school was invited to submit quilt squares expressing their feelings about the water.
  • Field guide to Flowering Plants at Pleasure House Point
  • Junior Master Naturalist Program

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