Environmental Club Update, December 2015
This fall the IB students and some environmental club members worked to re-vitalize the habitat gardens on campus. Two separate plots were selected, one shady garden bed that was overgrown with weeds and another more sunny area below that lined the walkway through the outdoor learning space. Students researched issues impacting pollinators and amphibians, tested the soil in these two areas, recorded climate conditions, and researched and purchased native plants which they thought would be most successful in attracting pollinators and thriving in the designated plot conditions. The plots were then cleared and students spent a few hours planting and installing a bird house. Some students are still in the process of making shallow ceramic water bowls and feeders for amphibians and other organisms and they will be installing these in the gardens in early spring.
Environmental Club Update, November 2015
On November 13, the Upper School Environmental Club headed over to make some crafts with the primers and fourth graders to celebrate America Recycles Day. President Courtney Lee and Vice President Shipra Bethi each presented a powerpoint on recycling to the different classrooms. After the presentation, the kids participated in answering the questions about recycling. Next, the club members assisted the kids in making small crafts out of recycled items of paper and cardboard. The kids made small paper turkeys out of cardboard paper rolls and they really seemed to enjoy this activity. We did have a bit of trouble with getting the “feathers” made of cardboard to stick to the turkeys, but otherwise the project went well, and the lower schoolers and the club members really seemed to bond well. This was our first project this with the lower schoolers this year, and we look forward to more in the future!
Environmental Club Update, June 2015
Trout In The Classroom: In December 2014, 100 trout eggs were delivered to the 6th grade science lab by volunteers with Trout Unlimited. The educational program is called Trout in the Classroom and is sponsored by the SCDNR. The goal is for students to set up and maintain a trout aquarium that mimics the mountain streams of the Appalachia and raise these eggs to the fingerling stage. In the spring, the tiny trout are released at Table Rock State Park under the supervision of representatives from Trout Unlimited and the DNR.
Students worked in daily shifts to conduct ph and ammonia testing to be sure the aquarium water was balanced, fed the trout, cleaned out the tank, and executed daily water changes. A log was kept so that poor water conditions could be spotted immediately and changes implemented to help the trout survive. During the process of taking care of the trout, students began to realize the difference they can also make in the environment around them. They developed a love of nature and went forward with the knowledge that they can make a difference in taking care of the Earth for future generations.
Students were also involved in a 2 week course of study using material provided by the DNR at the beginning of the project. In the end they gained both book knowledge and hands on experience in helping maintain a native species.
Environmental Club Update, May 2015
May 14, 2015: Every year the graduating senior class gives a memorable gift to the Upper School. This year, the Class of 2015 has decided to give a water bottle fountain. This gift will help reduce the number of plastic water bottles used by students and encourage the use of reusable water bottles. Moreover, the fountain can measure the number of disposable plastic bottles that are eliminated with its use. Already the fountain has helped eliminate waste from 757 disposable plastic bottles! In all this contribution will help students be more conscious of our environment.
May 7, 2015: 9th Grade students went to Conestee Nature Park to learn about the area, participate in nature journaling, and identify plants, fungi and animals! Check out the pictures on SmugMug!
Environmental Club Update, April 2015
The following reflection on Earth Day was written by 7th grader and Student Council member, Catherine Shoffner.
On Wednesday, April 22, Christ Church and many other people around the world celebrated Earth Day. FLIK, our food service provider, had a special guest, Sherry Taylor from Mill Village Farms, come to speak to us during lunch. FLIK also served a Kale Salad as part of their "Earthy Lunch" that was grown on Mill Village's Farm! Mill Village Farms is a place that "grows food and grows jobs" according to Sherry. They accomplish this statement by employing teens locally and growing fresh produce at the same time, a win-win for the community. Mill Village is non-profit and has many volunteer/donation options. Please go to their website for more information: millvillagefarms.org
We are so
thankful for our partnership with FLIK and their commitment to healthy
dining at CCES!
Below is a picture of our no idle zone sign as part of our efforts to increase awareness and reduce cars idling in the carpool line and cut down on ground level ozone. We have seen a decrease from 90% in the fall to 43% this spring!
Several of Owen Riley's students created recycling posters and submitted these works to the City of Greenville's Earth Day Poster contest, sponsored by the Public Works Division of Recycling and open to all grade levels. The intent of the contest is to encourage environmental awareness of the youth and have them demonstrate, through their artwork, how individual actions can make a difference to our local environment. Sophomore Miranda Renzi's design came in 1st place. The posters are currently displayed outside the US office.
Ground-level ozone, a colorless gas, is one of the major components of smog. Sources of this ozone include electric utilities, motorized vehicle exhaust, and gasoline vapors. Ozone can cause health problems in both animals and plants. Resulting problems in plants include chlorosis (yellowing of the plant leaves), necrosis (premature death of cells and living tissue in the plant leaf), and purpling/stippling (the leaf surface turning purple due to ozone exposure).
Ozone gardens are used to monitor the effects of ground-level ozone on plants. At Christ Church Episcopal School (CCES), the ozone garden of cutleaf coneflower plants is located near the traffic circle where students are picked up and dropped off. This is an ideal location for monitoring ozone impacts due to the plethora of idling cars there each day. CCES is a participant in the South Carolina GreenSteps program, which promotes environmental awareness and action in schools. The ozone garden is just one of the many projects that CCES participates in order to be recognized as a GreenSteps school.
This past summer, students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Environmental Systems & Societies class collected data from the CCES ozone garden. On a weekly basis, students monitored leaves of 18 plants, rating each leaf in the extent of purpling, necrosis and chlorosis. The higher percentage of chlorosis and purpling on a leaf indicates greater damage from ground-level ozone. Necrosis, death of leaf tissue, can be a result of ozone or other environmental factors. The data collected will be entered into a nationwide database in an effort to monitor ground-level ozone impacts on a larger scale.
Meanwhile, back at CCES, we are doing our part to reduce ozone concentrations. We have an active anti-idling campaign which will improve air quality for all of us and for the ozone garden!
Environmental Club Update, February 2015
The Upper School Environmental Club celebrates Arbor Day with the launching of the new native plant garden, located outside the upper school art room.
Environmental Club Update, October 2014
Champions of Recycling & Sustainability: CCES Environmental Club & IB Environmental Science Classes were featured in the Greater Greenville Sanitation Commission's newsletter for their work on the Ozone Garden and Air Quality projects. For more information on the project, click here.
Environmental Club Update, June 2014
On Wednesday, June 25th, CCES won the State Green Step Conserve Award in recognition for our extensive recycling program. This is great testament to the diligent work of the club members and advisors across all three school divisions.
Environmental Club Update, Earth Week 2014