Springside Chestnut Hill Academy recently earned the Green Flag award from the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program, making it the first independent school in Pennsylvania to win this award for sustainability progress. SCH’s green footprints have been purposeful over the past two decades. Its initiatives have extended from the classroom to the roofs and from the cafeterias to the Wissahickon Watershed. In 2012, the
U. S. Department of Education recognized SCH as a Green Ribbon School.
SCH joined the Eco-Schools USA program in order to have additional benchmarks to accelerate progress. “Not only do the students and community feel good about sustainability initiatives, it makes good business sense to implement best practices in energy conservation, and water and waste management,” said Frank Aloise, Chief Financial Officer. “We continue to see the benefits, particularly in reduced energy costs.”
SCH encourages learning and activities around sustainability from Pre-K-12th grade. Elementary students help plant and maintain vegetable gardens. Middle School students help manage the recycling program; and Upper School students help with trail restoration in the Wissahickon. Each division has an Eco Club whose members undertake conservation activities.
“I’m struck by how greening efforts are part of everyday activity here,” said Head of School Dr. Stephen Druggan. “Watching students and staff use reusable plates at lunchtime, seeing athletes refilling water bottles at refill stations, or witnessing the recycling teams collecting and recycling paper, cans and glass, I’m proud to see that ‘being green’ is second nature for our students.”
The Chestnut Hill Local recently profiled this accomplishment. Click here to read the article and learn more.