Millbrook’s annual Earth Day celebration included a variety of different activities to support our steadfast mission of environmental stewardship.
While every day at Millbrook students, faculty, and staff recycle and practice environmentally friendly habits, our Earth Day celebration is special in that the whole community comes together at one time to embrace our core value of environmental stewardship of the natural world.
In preparation for Earth Day, students and faculty gathered after classes on Pulling Quad on April 21. After splitting into groups, everyone headed out on assigned routes to pick up trash across our campus and along local roads. Groups also worked in our community garden, processed recyclables, and engaged in stream cleanup to help maintain our wetland buffer zone.
Students in our Farm Squad athletic alternative program also constructed raised garden beds to donate to local schools, organizations, and restaurants. Dean of Faculty Kathy Havard, Academic Dean Jarratt Clarke, and history teacher Lindsay Peterson accompanied the girls softball team to Hillcrest House, where alumna Elizabeth Celaya '98, director of organizational development at Hudson River Housing, met them and helped set up the bed. The hope is that this bed and the other four that were set up will have a lasting impact, allowing residents and students to grow food and understand how sustainable food sources are beneficial in so many ways.
Environmental Science students decided to focus on carbon neutrality and climate change by defining the scope and quantity of the emissions of their class, and offsetting these emissions by planting trees. Students determined that they needed three Norway spruce tress to make their class carbon neutral. They planted these trees today next to the eight trees that Allison Miller planted to make West Hall carbon neutral.
"The big idea here is about environmental stewardship in the 21st century," says Science Department faculty member Ava Goodale '01 about the planting of the trees. "This project is really about taking ownership of the environmental consequences associated with our class. We know we need to use paper and computers, but we also know how to account for those activities to mitigate the negative impacts."
These are just some of the many educational, empowering, and fun activities that students and faculty planned and participated in for Earth Day.