For the last 3 years the school has employed a resident naturalist whose activities include both curriculum-based and project-based integration of the landscape into all of the arts and sciences curricula. Student projects have included expansion of the oak savannah through student led reforestation, institution of worm composting for our food waste, introduction of bee colonies, expansion of the trail system, an ongoing streambank stabilization project including erosion control and habitat restoration, student garden pond rehabilitation, map and compass lessons, plant and wildlife identification projects, and initial mapping of natural areas for species identification plots.
All faculty members collaborate and all grade levels participate. Our focus throughout this program is the development of an age appropriate awareness that results in an attitude of respect, stewardship, and appreciation for the interdependent relationships required to sustain ourselves and our environment.
Activities are both project-based and curriculum-based. Project-based activities would include the semester-long mapping of the trail system and creation of trail signs, the year-long pond rehabilitation project, or the ongoing streambank stabilization project. Curriculum-based activities grow out of the current curriculum and might include activities like the month-long oak tree ecology lessons, forest life cycles lessons, or aquatic life lessons. The distinctions are not sharp, and often a project will grow from a curriculum event.