At GFA, we’re taking gardening to a new level — seven levels, to be exact, on each of the new aeroponic Tower Gardens in the Lower School. With a priority placed on sustainability, the structures are designed to conserve more soil and water than traditional gardening practices and allow for gardening year-round.
We want to instill within our students the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make environmentally and socially responsible decisions so they can create sustainable solutions for the future.
Sample of Upper School courses
Students learn about creating healthy landscapes and ecosystems through a combination of classroom work and hands-on engagement with regenerative landscaping methods. The course imparts best-management practices for maintaining landscapes with an emphasis on environmental stewardship.
Human Ecology and Sustainability Seminar
An in-depth exploration of what it means to live well in a place. Through case studies, primary literature, and other readings, students study sustainability theory, environmental ethics, and environmental justice. The course includes an off-campus immersion experience that will help class become a collaborative cohort of leaders in sustainability.
Students examine the oceans and how they function, starting by examining the “Nature of GFA” and taking time to learn about the three ecosystems right in our back yard. Studies include physical oceanography and ocean basins (how they form and change), waves, tides, and oceanic currents. The course includes watching a seminar of interest and contacting an oceanographer.
Students learn about different organisms that live in the oceans, from the plankton to the charismatic marine megafauna. While studying certain groups of organisms, students consider ways in which human activities influence those animals, such as investigating overfishing, marine debris, coral bleaching, noise pollution, and climate change.
For students who are passionate about study of the environment and sustainability issues, GFA offers an interdisciplinary, project-focused program designed to empower students to explore their passions and become stewards of their world.
Senior Sustainability Class Report
In our sustainability seminar, we have been considering our mission statement, in relation to sustainability, and how it must be compared with both nearby schools and the Chewonki School and foundation, where our class spent a week in the fall. We thought that having a better understanding of sustainability throughout GFA and a more explicit mention of sustainability would help guide and improve our approach to sustainability.
By Tom Barry
At GFA we have had yews around campus that have become staples of the landscape. Many of them have been around for as long as the school has. Unfortunately, these yews have become overgrown for the space they were initially planted in.
By Dr. Heather Heenehan
Upper School Science
Continue to think about what you dispose of, and how. Think about the amount of plastic you use in your everyday life. Can you change any behaviors to reduce that plastic?