Sustainability Mission Statement
Located in Washington DC, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School strives to shape engaged citizens who live with integrity, empathy, and purpose, in part by involving our community in the stewardship of the planet.
We foster in our students an appreciation of the world’s beauty and a sense of rich possibility along with a depth of knowledge about its complexities and challenges and a determination to make a positive difference in its care. In this time of increasing demands and stress upon Earth’s natural resources and ecosystems, the Day School recognizes environmental sustainability as a necessity and a core principle.
We seek to equip students to meet these challenges through modeling best management practices within our physical plant; integration of environmental themes, content, and skill-building in an interdisciplinary curriculum; and stewardship opportunities in our day-to-day lives at school and in the broader communities of which we are a part.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School is officially the first school to earn an Eco-Schools USA Green Flag Award, the highest honor, for Exceptional Achievement in Educating for Sustainability.
Nature’s way to grow! The National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program recognized St. Patrick’s for exceptional achievement for integrating sustainability into our curriculum and on school grounds.
With more than 5,000 schools in all 50 states, the Eco-Schools USA program is based on student-driven teams dedicated to reducing waste and to conserving energy and water use.
To receive the Green Flag award, St. Patrick’s students, faculty, and staff:
- Formed an Eco-Action team
- Audited all Eco-School USA pathways to sustainability
- Developed, evaluated and monitor an Eco-Action plan
- Linked the plan to the curriculum
- Engaged and built community
- Created an Eco-Code
Together we reduced consumption and waste, curbed energy use, and focused on sustainable food and healthy living. St Patrick’s is committed to sustainably managing our grounds, buildings and curriculum.
As reflected in our Sustainability Mission Statement, we strive “to shape engaged citizens who live with integrity, empathy, and purpose, in part by involving our community in the stewardship of the planet.” To that end, and as current circumstances made clear the importance of outdoor learning spaces, St. Patrick’s began work on a new outdoor space—the St. Patrick’s Garden & Outdoor Learning Space. The 3,750-square-foot space, located on our Foxhall Campus, consists of nine garden beds and space for several outdoor classrooms. The Garden & Outdoor Learning Space was launched at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, providing students the opportunity to use tools, learn about our food system, and watch plants grow throughout the year. This innovative space was made possible thanks to donations from a group of generous environmentalists.
More than 200 individual volunteers of all ages have helped to set up the garden by moving compost and mulch, installing outdoor classrooms, weeding, planting living clover pathways, and harvesting vegetables and herbs. From broccoli and dinosaur kale to cilantro and the ever-popular stevia, our fall harvest consists of more than 30 crops. To help us plan our planting season and create the ideal learning environment, St. Patrick’s has partnered with a local gardening organization, Love & Carrots. Our faculty have been hard at work brainstorming and planning ways to embed this garden space into the educational program and ensure that it will be a dynamic addition to our curriculum.
Lower School science students love using the garden to understand where our food comes from and how our food grows!
- Director of Sustainability Sam Mason