CCES Environmental Programs




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Environmental Club Update, February 2017

We had a fun fall and winter season here at CCES!


The week of November 15th, America Recycles Day, the environmental club made an announcement to the Upper School reminding all students and faculty of the types of objects that can be recycled with Greater Greenville. We’re working with faculty and students to build better recycling habits as a community and working together to commingle the building’s recycling bins on Fridays.

On December 2nd, South Carolina’s Arbor Day, several club members (and an additional volunteer from Lower School) worked together on a Friday afternoon to plant a young Sourwood tree in the CCES learning garden. We hope it becomes a great tree to study in future years!

Monday February 6th, the US Environmental Club held a Recycling Competition between grade levels. The grade who recycled the most proper recyclable materials by weight could treat themselves to Friday dress on Valentine’s Day. I’ve never seen so many people emptying old papers out of their bags in the recycling before! Congrats to the Seniors for compiling the most paper!

Also in February, the US Environmental classes took to the campus learning garden to help clear the pathways in time for more Spring lessons outdoors! We’re brainstorming ways to add to the gardens this year!

 Environmental Club Update, March 2016

The environmental club celebrated world water day on March 22nd and promoted awareness by creating their own stickers out of wax paper and packaging tape and distributing these to students, particularly commending those using reusable water bottles and our new water bottle filling stations at the fountains.


Environmental Club Update, February 2016

The Environmental Club welcomed Noah Tassie, a CCES graduate and director at Mill Village Farms, as a guest speaker yesterday (Feb 25) at lunch. Noah discussed opportunities in agriculture and service at Mill Village Farms!












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:

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.

On December 3, Dr. Bill Stringer, retired Clemson agronomist and Native Plant Society Upstate Chapter President, spoke to the environmental science students and club members about the importance of preserving the native plants of the eastern United States. Native plants, or plants indigenous to a specific area, are struggling to exist in America due to invasive plant species that were introduced by European immigration to the New World. Dr. Stringer explained that native plants are important because they make up the foundation of present ecosystems. In other words, if native plants continue to disappear, the animals that depend on these plants will also disappear, disrupting the balance of the natural environment.

In an effort to preserve native plants, the Environmental Club took on the challenge of creating a new garden comprised solely of grasses and flowers native to the Carolinas. The students, under the guidance of Dr. Stringer and several science teachers, weeded an overgrown section of the campus and planted over a dozen plants ranging from the purple-faced sunflower to bushy bluestem grass.

“I hope that we can expand the garden in the future and eventually get the middle school involved as well,” comments E-Club member Shipra Bethi, “I think this is a great start.”

The E-Club is hopeful that the native plant garden will attract regional butterflies and birds as well as spread awareness of the importance of native plants.

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

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, the Christ Church High School Environmental Club dedicated a week to promote environmental awareness.

Earth Week kicked off on Tuesday with a “Lights Out Day,” in which all of the teachers and students were encouraged to turn off the lights for the entire school day. The goal was to save electricity and to enjoy learning in natural light. In order to calculate the amount of energy saved, members of the environmental clubs in each division took energy meter readings on a typical school day to use as a baseline comparison and compared those results to the meter readings on Lights Out Day. According to an Environmental Club announcement the following week, “the number of kilowatts saved per day equals 1724kW based on this year’s data. This is slightly less than last year’s daily kilowatt savings of 2088, but this may mean that on average the school is more efficient in our energy usage on a more regular basis. In terms of money saved by turning out our lights, we saved the school $150 in just one day.”

On Wednesday, the Environmental Club held its annual “No Sale Bake Sale.” Members of the club brought in baked goods to hand out to the student body free of charge. This event took place outside the cafeteria and allowed students to enjoy some fresh air as well as some tasty treats.


On Thursday the school was a sea green because each student and teacher was allowed to wear the green Christ Church Earth Day t-shirt. Also in the afternoon, members of the Environmental Club went tree-tagging around the school campus. A tree tag looks like a giant nutrition tag, but instead of listing nutrition facts, it lists the benefits of the specific tree. The tag lists the stormwater runoff reduction, Carbon reduction, electrical energy savings, property value impact, as well as the total monetary value of the tree based on its benefits to the environment per year. The Environmental Club tagged four trees around the school campus, and will continue to tag trees until the end of the school year to raise awareness about the benefits of trees.


The Environmental Clubs wants to thank everyone who helped to make Earth Week a huge success!

Environmental Club Update, April 2014 

Last Tuesday, April 22nd, in honor of Earth Day, all divisions participated in what has come to be our annual lights out day. Members of the environmental clubs in each division took energy meter readings on a typical school day to use as a baseline comparison and compared those results to the meter readings on lights out day. Based on this year’s data, the number of kilowatts saved per day equals 1724kW. This is slightly less than last year’s daily kilowatt savings of 2088 but this may only mean that on average we are more efficient in our energy usage on a more regular basis. In terms of money saved by turning out our lights, we saved the school $150 in just one day. This is sure to add up fast if continue to be mindful of turning out lights when not in the room or when other activities are planned that don’t require as much lighting, even keeping our projectors and smartboards off when not in use. Thank you for your participation in this Earth Day event.

Environmental Club Update, December 2013

Caroline Andrews '14

The Environmental Club has had an exciting and memorable first semester. Under the leadership of Susannah Pazdan, Courtney Lee, and Courtney Foster, the club achieved multiple goals and continued their variety of programs that help the student body stay environmentally aware. The year started off to an amazing start with around 50 people signing up at the club fair, but various conflicts has kept weekly attendance at around 10 to 15 for each meeting. This smaller size makes for focused and productive biweekly meetings.

One of their largest projects this year has been their fundraising efforts with the sales of their Environmental-Grams. Each Environmental-Gram included some fun treats and an interesting fact about the environment or recycling. Many students took this opportunity to send some joy to a friend or faculty member. These were sold during the first week of November, and students appreciated the post-Halloween candy fix. The club raised about $100 from the sale, and these funds will be used in the Earth Week festivities in April. This will be the club’s biggest project for the upcoming semester, and Pazdan looks forward to this, “important week so that we can raise awareness for our environment.” The organization will continue to better the environment around CCES through the various gardens on campus, the recycling programs, and their anti-idle campaign, “B²”.

The final hoorah for Environmental Club’s first semester was the annual Christmas party. The members brought festive treats and they enjoyed spending the time to grow closer as a group. Pazdan reflects that it was “a good time for us so that when we come back to school we will be ready to do more things for our school’s campus environment.”