Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, just months after people first looked down on our precious blue home from the moon. Celebrated again this past weekend, the day is a reminder of our obligation to preserve a healthy planet for our children.
Our efforts to turn WES green are surging. The elementary STEM classes are among those leading the way, developing the ideas for a sustainability garden on and around the new Discovery Playground. Grade 2 researched ideas for the Bird Sanctuary Garden, Grade 3 worked on content for the Pollinator Garden, Grade 4 focused on the Rain Garden, and Grade 5 was engaged with plans for the garden of plants native to the area. In addition, I am proud that our Grade 4 Energy Saver Plan is now featured on the MyGreenMontgomery website.
The faculty also has a Sustainability Committee that has been educating teachers in how to bring environmental stewardship into classrooms and in improving our recycling of materials all around the school. Additionally, this past week the community participated in our Earth Day Pledge Tree on the second floor landing, adding paper leaves with hand-written commitments to sustainability.
Our facilities team and trustees have also been critical. Last summer, we replaced many of our windows to burn fewer fossil fuels on heating and cooling. Then, during the 2023 spring break, we replaced the fluorescent fixtures in our classrooms, common spaces, hallways, and offices with hundreds of LED lights, trimming back our carbon footprint and brightening each day.
This summer, our effort to make the campus more energy efficient will be even more affirmative and far-reaching. Taking advantage of a sunny and open campus, we will install solar panels on our rooftops to generate clean electricity for WES and the wider community.
Our work to make WES more green is always aligned with our mission and values. Teaching children to steward the planet involves a great deal of science and social studies, and it makes them more compassionate and responsible citizens. This is another example of our Episcopal values at work.
Head of School