A Green SchoolAs an integral part of our mission to encourage respect, integrity, creativity, and spiritual growth in each of our students, we are committed to educating our students to be environmental stewards and leaders of their generation. We are proud of our status as a certified Maryland green school, focused on engaging our students in the shared work of creating a healthy environment.
St. Paul’s School for Girls acknowledges the innate affinity humans have with the natural environment. We honor that affinity by preparing our students, through curriculum and program, to become active environmental citizens of the world they will inherit. We also honor our responsibility to operate the school in a manner that is consistent with our mission and with our obligations to the local and global environment, as stewards of God’s earth.
The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) is pleased to announce that SPSG has been recertified as a 2016 Maryland Green School. Maryland Green Schools are part of a national and international community of sustainable green schools. Our students are becoming better stewards of our Earth's resources and developing a better understanding of their own local environment.
Over the past two years, our school has demonstrated and documented a continuous effort to integrate sustainable environmental management practices, environmental education curriculum, professional development opportunities, and community engagement into our daily operations. This award signifies that our school has made a commitment to developing stewards of the earth and reducing the environmental impact of our school.
We provide a strong foundation in environmental topics throughout our curriculum and program to prepare our students to be active citizens and leaders. Middle and upper school science classes engage students in topics such as biodiversity, native and invasive species, watersheds, and ecosystems. Study of the environment is not limited to science classes—English classes study Transcendentalism, world language classes compare environmental issues and stewardship across cultures, and statistics classes survey the student body on topics such as bottled water consumption.
We believe that hands-on experiences are most effective in engaging students with their environment. Our green house and community garden allow students to experiment with seedlings and to grow food for service projects. Students also participate in the cultivation of our butterfly and Japanese gardens and in maintaining our new honey bee hives. Each year, the seventh grade travels to Echo Hill Outdoor School in conjunction with their study of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and upper school students explore and catalog the biodiversity found in many of the natural habitats on our campus and at local and state parks.
Our students plan and lead campus-wide a variety of environmental initiatives each year. Representatives from each grade level join faculty and staff members in monthly Green Council meetings. Our middle and upper school environmental clubs work to improve our recycling and trash reduction efforts and strive to reduce our use of disposable water bottles. Throughout the year, student groups engage in a myriad of stream cleaning and other volunteer environmental action initiatives.
As a faculty, we strive to model conservation and stewardship for our students. Our management practices include the use of rain barrels to provide water for the green house; low energy lighting activated by motion sensors; and highly visible recycling canisters throughout the school. The school also maintains an electronic equipment recycling program for students and their families and provides for disposal of used batteries.