Special Programs

Center for Sustainability

The Basics | Curricular Connections | Co-Curricular Programs | HB Community Garden | Seminar & Speaker Series | Lorax | Sustainability Planning At HB | Contact Us | Explore

Check out this great video about the importance of thoughtful Urban Planning
created by Gracie Mowery '15

This short video, made by Gracie Mowery '15, explores the potential of urban planning and design to transform cities into vibrant, sustainable, livable landscapes. This work combines Gracie's summer experience studying urban planning, design and sustainability at Cornell University and her participation in HB's Climate and Action class in the 2014-2015 school year. 

Hathaway Brown’s Center for Sustainability engages the HB community with the principles and practices of sustainability, providing a foundation in theory and opportunities for action. Taking a “full spectrum” approach to sustainability, the Center’s focus reaches beyond “being green” to address the complex, systemic relationships between social equity, economic security, environmental integrity and human-wellness. The Center for Sustainability also works across the school to address the school’s own facilities, operations, and institutional culture and practices.

The Basics

Click on the link above to learn what the center does and how to join.

Curricular Connections

Upper School students in the Campus and Community Sustainability elective have been working on designing and installing a solar powered charging station for laptops and cellphones, a project funded by a grant from Dominion Resources. This project-based elective meets weekly after school with the goal of making tangible changes in the school and community to advance sustainability. Middle School students in the Made by Hand academy spent the trimester exploring the concept of upcycling and doing upcycling projects.

Beyond the electives offered through the Center, HB's curriculum addresses sustainability themes in many ways and places. The Center for Sustainability supports this by partnering with core curriculum faculty in all divisions to run classroom activities and discussions, in addition to providing support for curriculum development, and assisting students interested in in-depth study of sustainability with course selection and independent project work.

Co-Curricular Programs

For the past two years Hathaway Brown has participated in the Green Cup Challenge, and national school competition to reduce electricity use on campus.  Student leaders, in partnership with the Center for Sustainability, monitored electricity use for four weeks from mid-January to mid-February and worked to educate the community about the things we can do to reduce our electricity use.  Green stars adorned the doors of classrooms left with the lights out and electronics unplugged when not in use.  Environmental Science students learned how to read the school's electricity meters and tracked our daily usage.  This year, rather than competing with the other independent schools in our region, we joined forces and collaborated, sharing ideas among the schools and working to collectively lower our use as much as possible.

Each year the Center for Sustainability develops programs that align with Sustainable Cleveland 2019's celebration years.  2014 is the Year of Zero Waste.  Look for special events and activities in April focused on this theme.  Past celebration year themes have included the Year of Local Food and the Year of Advanced and Renewable Energy.

HB Community Garden

HB's community garden has now been through two growing seasons, and our use of the garden is growing along with the vegetables. Early childhood classrooms made regular visits to the garden this fall, taking fresh snacks back to their classrooms with the. Middle School academies learned about local food economies and healthy eating during garden visits, and the Upper School garden leadership team has founded the new HB Locavores club for students interested in local foods.

A big thanks goes out to all the HB families who helped tend the garden over the summer. In return for their help, they took home any harvest-ready produce during their week of service. Stay tuned for garden care volunteer sign-ups for this coming summer. Summer volunteers will receive a reminder email with instructions a few days before their week of service.

Seminar and Speaker Series

As part of the Institute for 21st Century Education's speaker series, the Center for Sustainability hosts several lunchtime seminars and speakers series throughout the year. These speakers all bring solutions to the table and help people understand the connections between economics, the environment, social equity and human wellness.

In alignment with the City of Cleveland's Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative focus for 2014, speakers this spring will share strategies for moving the school and the city toward the goal of zero waste.


The Lorax is HB's environmental club for Upper School students. The club encourages students and faculty to consider the environmental impacts of their daily decisions.

Sustainability Planning at HB

The Center for Sustainability is engaging in long-range planning for the school's facilities and operations and the school-wide curriculum. As the school develops a new campus master plan for the coming years, the Center for Sustainability has participated in this process to bring attention to energy and resource use issues.  The annual greenhouse gas inventory conducted by the Center for Sustainability supports this work.

In addition, the Center is conducting a curriculum audit across all divisions and departments to assess where and when we include education for sustainability in the our curriculum. This will launch a broader conversation about what this would look like in its best form here at HB and how we will get there from here to there.

Contact Us

Torrey McMillan '90
Director, Center for Sustainability

Hathaway Brown School
19600 N. Park Blvd.
Shaker Heights, OH 44122
216.320.8796 ext. 7227


See what else the Center for Sustainability has to offer in our HB Magazine.

Shaker Heights, Ohio Girls K-12 Coed Early Childhood

19600 North Park Boulevard Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122 P: 216.932.4214
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