Around F.C.

F.C. School Honored for Environmental Excellence

Receiving the 2012 Tree Preservation Award for the Montessori School of Northern Virginia are, from left to right, Betsy Mitchell, MSNV head of school; Don Zimar of Zimar and Associates; Ned Mitchell, MSNV facilities manager and MSNV alumnus; and Robert Vickers, chairman of the Fairfax County Tree Commission. (Courtesy Photo)

When the Montessori School of Northern Virginia acquired the old Valleybrook School in Falls Church in 2009, school officials and parents sought to renovate the campus while saving as many existing trees as possible. The school’s design and conservation efforts caught the attention of Fairfax County officials who recently presented MSNV with a 2012 Tree Preservation Award for excellence in conservation (see photo). Rep. Gerald Connolly also honored MSNV with a congratulatory statement.

At MSNV Valleybrook, the arbored perimeter anchors a unique natural playscape for students and offers a habitat for wildlife. The trees also enrich the school’s outdoor education program.

The county award recognizes a commitment to conserving a maximum number of trees, both in the design stages as well as the actual project implementation. Design professionals Patton, Harris, Rust and Associates (A Pennoni Company) as well as tree preservation contractor Zimar and Associates received awards for their work on the campus renovation project.