Day and Boarding; Grades 6-12

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Sustainability

Students working on a community garden, dumping soil.

An important part of the The Pennington School’s vision is that “Our students develop a sense of responsibility for themselves, for others, and for the world in which they live.” It permeates the work we do in our classrooms, on the field, and in the greater community. Given that the concept of sustainability is inherently central to this vision, we have been working to support and advance sustainable practices and thinking throughout the School. This work has been taking place, and is continuing to develop, in several different areas.

Want to get involved? Contact Dr. Andrews or Ms. Vesnaver and let her know of your interest!

Sustainability Committee

The Pennington School’s Sustainability Committee is a recently formed ad-hoc committee whose members include faculty, staff, and students. Our goals are to:

  • Connect and advance existing efforts to implement sustainable practices on campus;
  • Improve coordination and communication as they relate to sustainable efforts across all segments of our School, including the broader Pennington community;
  • Create a culture of sustainable thinking that informs decision-making from the classroom to the dorm room to the boardroom.

Our work falls under five subcommittees:

Energy

Power, heating/cooling, fossil fuels, and renewable sources

Waste

Recycling program, paper and printing, electronics, dormitories, water usage

Food

Food waste and compost, local food sourcing, School garden

Buildings and Grounds

Landscaping, ecological studies, Lowellden Pond, facilities maintenance, cars on campus

Curricula

Middle School, Upper School, within specific classes and schoolwide

The Green Team

A student-led club whose members share an interest in the environment and the ambition to tackle various issues from the campus to the global scale. Most of our efforts are focused on “greening” the School via various projects and fostering a stronger environmental ethic within our community.

Student-Led Initiatives and Projects

Students are encouraged to turn their environmental interests into action. Whether through their involvement with the Green Team, the Sustainability Committee, the Global Studies and Applied Science certificate programs, or a class project, we support their efforts to make a difference at The Pennington School and beyond. Student initiatives currently in development include:

  • Making our campus an “Idle-Free Zone” in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and lower human health impacts
  • Implementing “Meatless Mondays” in the dining hall to minimize the various environmental impacts associated with the production of meat
  • Building a stronger connection between the Green Team and Community Service club through work in the School garden
  • Identifying spaces and developing plans for more “greenscaping” on campus
Various classes and student clubs visit and work in the garden to engage in hands-on learning, conduct observational studies, and perform community service.
Multiple students working in a garden outside.

School Garden

We are continuing to enhance and develop interdisciplinary curricula that get students outdoors, in the pond, at the School garden, and exploring campus ecologies. This environmental education opens students’ eyes to the various effects—both positive and negative—they have on local and global environments and provides them with the tools and opportunities to make a difference in the world.
Two students filling buckets of plants with water.

Environmental Education

The pond serves as a wonderful outdoor classroom, laboratory, space for meditation, and active site for fieldwork and ecological restoration. We are also working with an ecologist and invasive species specialist to develop a remediation plan for the pond that will involve the removal of invasive species and identification of native plant species that will provide critical wildlife habitat and improve the pond’s water quality.
Four students working in a swampy lake.

Lowellden Pond