Our Approach to Sustainability

Our Approach to Sustainability

Authored by Head of School Dr. Fran Bisselle

April 22 is Earth Day and a reminder that HB is taking action both on our campus and in our community to implement sustainability efforts and improve the world around us. 

As you walk through our campus, evidence of our sustainability efforts is seen across divisions with new skills and perspectives introduced into the core curriculum. Primary and Middle School students are planting seeds that will grow into plants to be used in creating natural dyes for art projects. Along with Early Childhood students, they are also planting seeds in our native plant garden on the embankment located near the tennis courts which features plants adapted to our local climate and soil conditions. Middle School students recently heard from an educator from the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District.

Our Upper School Fellowships in Sustainability engage our school community with thinking, learning, and action to help build a flourishing future. Students see the world through a new, sustainable lens. They take classes in political action and institutional change-making, truly applying their knowledge in action through fieldwork or capstone projects. The Fellows are currently examining purchasing practices in our dining services department to identify opportunities for improved sustainability. 

AP Environmental Science students are conducting air quality tests around the front circle and turf field as part of a citizen science project with the Department of Public Health. Some of these students will even be co-panelists with Torrey McMillan, Director of Fellowships in Sustainability, in a forum being hosted by Cleveland’s Division of Air quality next month! Upper School students are also in a partnership called Shaker Youth LEEDs, a sub-committee of the city of Shaker’s sustainability committee composed of HB, University School, and Shaker Heights High School students. We are so proud of the leadership exhibited by HB students leading the Youth LEEDs Shaker EcoChallenge (click here to learn more)!

Speaking of female leadership in the environmental realm, I am pleased to announce that  ​​Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, Chief Executive Officer of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, will be HB’s 2022 graduation speaker. She is a visionary environmental leader, and her work around watersheds, stormwater management, and green infrastructure embodies HB’s values of rising boldly to the challenges of our times and being a force for common good. 

HB’s commitment to sustainability was underscored in the sustainability statement approved by our board of trustees just last year. In part, it states, “We embrace our role as active caretakers of our communities, natural and human, in support of individual, institutional and global well-being.” I am proud of how our HB community takes care of our world. Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

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