Farmwell Station Middle School’s Green Team was founded in 2007 by 7th grade Life Science teacher Tracy Rossi.  Its initial mission was two-fold:  to improve the school’s recycling program and to increase environmental awareness among students.  Students and teachers alike were concerned at the large amounts of paper being thrown away rather then recycled and decided that they could make a big difference.  The team had just over 40 members in its first year and totally revamped the recycling program.  Students are the backbone of the school’s recycling program and recycle over 10 tons of paper per year.  The Green Team is supported by the school’s custodial staff and the county’s Facilities Services team for ultimate success.

Building on its early momentum, other ideas soon followed. To date, the Green Team had started a beverage container recycling program, adopted three endangered species using Green Team fundraiser money, sponsored a annual Earth Day poster contest, promoted Green Day spirit days, promoted school-wide Earth Day celebrations, championed family energy audits, partnered with the county for watershed storm drain labeling, and much more.  In fact, the FSMS Green Team was so active in making a difference in their community; they received national recognition by the Go Green Initiative in their first year (featured on treehugger.com – a Discovery company).

The Green Team has continued to grow and has expanded its focus on environmental issues.  In early 2009, the team sponsors took 18 students to PowerShift ’09, a national youth summit on climate change action held in Washington D.C.  Students attended workshops lead by national leaders and saw first hand the power of youth.

Ms. Rossi has funded the program with grant money received from the Earth Day Network as a Climate Change Educator, prize money from the Keep Loudoun Beautiful recycling contest and award money from EarthDay@Loudoun Festival.  To date, the team has raised/earned over $1,200 in awards, grant money and fundraisers.  All of this money goes back into the club for activities and action items.

In the spring of 2011, co-sponsor Jon Radow lead a group of dedicated students in researching the impact of Styrofoam trays on the environment.  After months of research and interviews, the CELTICS (Committee Evaluating Lunch Trays in Cafeteria Schools) presented their findings to the Loudoun County School Board.  The Green Team CELTICS recommended alternatives to Styrofoam, specifically reusable trays or biodegradable paperboard.  This fall, Loudoun County Public Schools switched to biodegradable paperboard trays in all school previously using Styrofoam – a major accomplishment for the CELTICS!

The Green Team also maintains the newly built Outdoor Classroom donated by Dominion Power.  The natural setting of the classroom will be used by all teachers and students at Farmwell and is located next to the Naturalist Club’s Monarch Waystation.

The 2011/2012 school year welcomed over 40 members (many returning from previous years) and continues to strive for new ways to improve the community and environment.  The Green Team is currently in the planning stages of a “Trashion Show” and will work with other local organizations for the some of the “fashion”.

The success of the Farmwell Station Green Team is attributed to the energy and passion of its student’s and sponsors and will continue to act on their motto “Everyone Can Make a Difference”.

The Green Team is currently sponsored by Tracy Rossi, Jon Radow and Erik Sassak of Farmwell Station Middle School.