(From right) Carol Anderson, 13, Sabari Subramanian, 12, Gandre Coleman, 13, Raam Udayappan, 13, and Edwin Del Rosario, 13, take a look at the vernal pool they helped install inside the interior courtyard of Lanier Middle School, which has been transformed into an educational tool with five eco-systems, a memorial garden and an outdoor teaching space. (Shamus Ian Fatzinger/The Fairfax County Times)

The Fairfax County Times reported that Lanier, on Jermantown Road just north of Route 50, was recognized for projects such as transforming a barren plot into a picturesque piece of land, encouraging fellow students to conserve energy and using less water. Principal Scott Poole told reporter Holly Hobbs that “one of the most exciting things about the project is it has brought adults and students together to work toward common goals. They’ve shared their experiences and knowledge and they’re all working on the same level. They’re digging in the dirt together.”

Lanier was one of 30 schools in the Fairfax County school district to participate in the eco-schools project. The other national winners were in Boston and Charleston, S.C.