Forest Oak MS Green School Project

The mission of the FOMS project is to create and restore outdoor learning areas, provide opportunities to experientially teach the science and economics of healthy farming and eating, and improve the sustainability of the Forest Oak Middle School campus.

The overall project consists of 6 separate elements:
1. Greenhouse and beds 
2. Outdoor commons area 
3. Restoration of forest/stream learning area and nature trail 
4. Turf grass-to-meadow conversion
5. Mindfulness labyrinth

The FOMS campus is unique in that it contains a variety of ecosystem types, including forest, stream, and (potentially) meadow. Regrettably, the students only experience these natural settings tangentially during occasional outdoor PE activities. FOMS teachers and staff experience the outdoors even less frequently. By creating these outdoor educational areas that are immediately adjacent to the school and aesthetically pleasing, the opportunity for students and staff to experience the outdoors, even if only for brief periods, will be vastly improved.

The existing campus, while functional, is unremarkable, especially compared to newer or more specialized schools in the area. Establishing these six elements will help instill a much-needed sense of student and staff pride in the school, and will even create opportunities for increased community recreational use of the campus outside of normal school hours. These side benefits, in combination with the resulting educational, aesthetic, health, and sustainability improvements, make clear this project will have a profound impact on everyone that uses the FOMS campus.

Connect the Dots Green Schools Challenge
Sponsored by U.S. Green Building Council
Forest Oak Middle School
Gaithersburg, MD 
School Principal: Mr. Shahid Muhammad
School Champions: Mr. Shawn Carter (teacher) and Ms. Emily Cavey (parent) 
Project Mentor: Mr. Stephen Meador, CEM, LEED AP

The following image is an illustration of projects to improve outdoor learning and sustainability practices at Forest Oak Middle School (FOMS).

Organizer and beneficiary

Emily Cavey
Gaithersburg, MD
Forest Oak Middle School

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