As a Quaker school, MFS advocates for the responsible stewardship of planet Earth and is committed to ensuring that all students understand the central role they play in conserving resources, living simply, and leading responsibly in an age of environmental degradation. Opportunities to learn what it means to be an environmental steward should extend to students of all ages and in all disciplines. There is great potential to use the MFS campus as a model and a large-scale classroom for educating students about environmental citizenship. Intentional choices about physical plant and curriculum can help reduce costs and carbon footprint, while deepening students’ understanding of and commitment to the fundamental Quaker testimony of stewardship. Through this strategic initiative, MFS has the potential to better align the school’s mission with its curriculum, business decisions, and actions as a Quaker institution.
- How might students act entrepreneurially in service of environmental sustainability?
- How might we transform the MFS campus into a platform for learning about environmental sustainability and responsible stewardship?
- How might we reduce our environmental impact as a community and campus?
The school’s campus and programs will demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability and its students will be actively engaged at all grade levels in stewarding a healthy relationship with our planet and its resources.
Develop an approach to environmental stewardship at MFS, including curriculum and facilities, that is consistent with our Quaker values.
- Develop a long-term vision and plan for environmental sustainability at MFS
- Conduct a baseline assessment of MFS’s environmental footprint and targets for improvement
Environmental Stewardship Snapshot
Student-Planned Lower School Earth Day Fair Caps School-wide Earth Week Celebration
The Lower School Earth Day Fair was a special opportunity for Upper and Lower School students to connect across divisions and learn about the environment around them. It involved three stations – flower planting, birdhouse making, and a visit with native wildlife from the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. The event was organized by the Upper School Environmental Committee.
“We were delighted to have Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge visit us with their Raptors and Reptiles program,” said Aidan Short ’23, a member of the student Environmental Committee. He noted that special guests Athena, the great horned owl, and Chevy, the corn snake, came to MFS to teach Lower Schoolers about the native wildlife around them. “It was great to see the many smiling faces of our youngest students as they watched and learned about such unique animals,” said Aidan.
Earth Week at MFS took place April 18-22 and featured a number of activities, including the Earth Day Fair, that helped raise awareness of our daily environmental impact. The special week was developed and coordinated by the Faculty and Staff Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC).
Kicking off the week was a special surprise for students, faculty, and staff: a vibrant array of indoor plants were added to enhance the Stokes Hall Lobby. ESC Co-Clerks Preschool Assistant Pauline Williams and Lower School & Grade 5 Coding Teacher Rachel Kaplan shared that the plants were added to “serve as a reminder to the community that we should feel connected to more life forms than just other humans.” As the week progressed, students, faculty, and staff participated in Trashless Tuesday, ECO games, an All-School Meeting for Worship, and an Earth Day Assembly.
“It is very exciting to see the significant commitment to environmental stewardship that the school is making with the campus sustainability planning and energy assessment on the horizon,” said Pauline. “Moving forward, the ESC hopes to continue to enhance the curriculum already in place and help teachers incorporate environmental stewardship into their classrooms.”