SEAS 2019 a huge success!

The eighth annual NoVA Student Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) took place on April 23, 2019 and brought out over 600 students from almost 50 schools to George Mason University to celebrate environmental work across the region. Eco-teams presented their work, networked with peers and mentors, and competed for recognition of their achievements.


25 partnering organizations participated, with many of them leading hands-on activities highlighting environmental solutions and careers. 2019 partners included:

  • Alexandria Renew Enterprises
  • Audubon Naturalist Society
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Calleva Outdoors
  • City of Alexandria
  • Climate Reality Project
  • Community Foundation of Northern Virginia
  • Earth Force Fairfax County Federation of Teachers
  • Fairfax County Park Authority
  • Fairfax County Stormwater Management
  • Fairfax County Urban Forest Management
  • GMU Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
  • GMU Office of Sustainability
  • Keep Prince William Beautiful
  • Operation Patriotic STEM/Fort Belvoir Elementary
  • Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Nutrien
  • Plant NoVA Natives
  • Project Learning Tree/Virginia Department of Forestry
  • Smart Garden Signs
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Patuxent Research Refuge
  • Virginia Tech Thinkabit Lab

Our Power

Small groups of students met with state and local officials to discuss their projects and how they could be more effective in their advocacy, with moderators Eliza Cava and Renee Grebe from the Audubon Naturalist Society. These discussions were a unique opportunity for students to interact with decision-makers, including:

  • David Bulova, Virginia House Delegate, 37th District
  • Ali Culhane, FCPS Get2Green
  • Mark Keam, Virginia Delegate, 35th District
  • Celeste Land, Trustee, Land Family Foundation
  • Kris Martini, APS Career, Technical, & Adult Education
  • Dalia Palchik, FCPS School Board
  • Karen Corbett Sanders, FCPS School Board Chair
  • Marcus Simon, Virginia House Delegate, 53rd District
  • Jane Strauss, FCPS School Board
  • Donna Volkmann, FCPS Get2Green
  • Vivian Watts, Virginia House Delegate, 39th District

Caring for Our Watersheds

Finalists in the Caring for Our Watersheds contest made verbal presentations before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers in the Concert Hall. First place winners from Lanier Middle School presented a project revitalizing a bioretention area on the school campus.

List of Finalists, Projects and Awards
  • Lanier Middle School: “Revitalizing Our Bioretention Cell” – $1,000
  • Kent Island High School: “Bioswale” – $900
  • Rachel Carson Middle School: “Rain Garden” – $800
  • Kenmore Middle School: “Utensil-Packet-Replacement” – $700
  • Frost Middle School: “Alternative to Rock Salt” – $600
  • Dogwood Elementary School: “The Invasion of the Koi at Lake Anne” – $500
  • George Washington Middle School: “Students Water Conservation Society” – $450
  • School Without Walls at Francis Stevens: “Life Saver Solutions” – $400
  • Berlin Intermediate School: “Project Nature” – $350
  • Kenmore Middle School: “Recycling Electronics and Batteries” – $300

Dynamic Young Visionary Award

The Fairfax County Federation of Teachers announced the Dynamic Young Visionary Awards, presenting $250 checks to Braddock Elementary and to Sitara Sastry of
Oakton High School.


In an effort to highlight opportunities for NoVA students to participate in international and regional Eco-Art activities, this year’s Eco Art event partnered with several other organizations. Programs included:

  • SEAS Photography Contest for Elementary Students organized by Jill Baker
  • NVSWCD Poster Contest
  • NWF-Young Reporters of the Environment
  • Northern Virginia Conservation Trust Photo Contest

GMU Collaboration

The 2019 SEAS collaboration had the exemplary involvement of Mason students and staff, including the coordination support of PEREC’s Cindy Smith, 14 event-day volunteers, two SEAS student interns, a PR team of five from professor Kathy Rowan’s public relations class, Center for the Arts staff, an introduction in song from professor R. Chris Jones, and a warm welcome from university president Ángel Cabrera. Alumna Trisha Moore brought Weeble, the  Sun Conure, a SEAS-veteran “guest tweeter.”

SEAS 2020

Details will be forthcoming about the ninth annual SEAS, set to take place at GMU in April 2020. The art competition will be a “trashion” show of clothing from recycled more materials. More information to come!