Rain Check Issued

13 Aug

Hello! Due to the intensity of yesterday’s (much needed) deluge, I am hereby issuing a RAIN CHECK on our garden party until tomorrow (Thursday 8/13). Same time: 12pm-1:30pm.
Hope to see you then!

To stay up-to-date regarding this event check out our facebook feed: http://www.facebook.com/WaldorfSchoolBaltimore

 

Garden Time!

11 Aug

vegetables-large-mdHello! Now that we’re getting close to the beginning of a new school year we would like to host some gardening cleanup sessions. The first one will be held this Wednesday, Aug 13th from 12pm-1:30pm. Our rain date will be the next day, Thursday the 14th (same time). We’ll be doing some general tiding up and prepping the area for the return of the chickens.

The second session will be Wednesday, Aug 20th at the same time. We maybe able to do some honey extraction during that one…we’ll see.

If you’re planning on coming to either please comment or send me a message so I know how many people to expect (manderson at twsb dot org). Feel free to bring a picnic if you like. And please note, childcare will not be officially provided; children will work/play under parental supervision.

See you soon!

Ahead of the game. . . .

23 Jun

WatershedJust last week the State of Maryland, along with 5 other states and the District of Columbia, signed the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement. Our governor, Martin O’Malley, spearheaded the initiative and called it, “the most inclusive, collaborative, goal-oriented agreement the Chesapeake Bay watershed has ever seen.”

The agreement not only sets new standards towards protecting our bay, but also brings ecoliteracy into every school in the watershed. You can read a Washington Post article about it by clicking HERE and take a look at the full agreement by clicking HERE.

The Waldorf School of Baltimore has been actively infusing ecoliteracy into its curriculum for a long time now. This new development highlights the fact that WSB is on the cutting edge of modern educational thought, and that your students are well underway of becoming environmentally-sound leaders and stewards of the Earth they will inherit.

Enjoy the day!

Green Report for the 2013-14 School Year

18 Jun

What a great, green school year it’s been!

This post will highlight some of our green accomplishments for the 2013-14 school year. Over the next couple of weeks some of our goals for next year will be announced. So without further adieu . . .

TerraCycle!
TerraCycle-Logo-PNGOur Middle School Student Council has made some great progress this year with our TerraCycle program. Since we started it in January 2014, we have collected certain kinds of waste products (ink cartridges, hummus containers, etc.) and sent them in for points. The points were redeemed to do various actions that have had a global impact. Together we have:

  • Provided 25 people in Sub-Sahara Africa with clean drinking water for a year.
  • Preserved 2 acres of wildlife land in the Western United States.
  • Removed 80 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
  • Gave honeybees to a family in need
  • Gave a chicken to a family in need.

KIVA!
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Since it’s inception last year, our Waldorf International Community Lending Team has grown to 14 members and has over $1,400 out in loans to people in need all over the world — from Albania to Senegal. Together we are doing things like helping entrepreneurs fill their shops with goods to sell, providing clothing and healthcare to underprivileged children, and helping farmers provide food to their communities. You can get involved in this exciting program by clicking HERE.
Next year, we will be handing over the reigns of this endeavor to our student-led Green Team! (More on that soon.)


Maryland Green School Re-Certification, Eco-Schools, and EPA Green Power Partnership!
green_school_badge
Most of my winter this school year was spent developing & editing an online portfolio that chronicled the last 4 years of WSB’s green initiatives. Those efforts paid off and WSB was awarded green school status for the next 4 years! We were also awarded Eco-Schools status (which is an international organization) and invited into the EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program! If you haven’t already, check out our extensive Maryland Green School Application, it’s full of all of our green accomplishments over the last 4 years.

Coffee Capsule Collection Campaign!
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This year our Student Council started an Coffee Capsule Collection campaign and stopped over 35 pounds of un-recyclable capsules from ending up in a landfill. While “gutting” the capsules of their used coffee ground for our vermicompost bins, middle school students and I had lively discussions about the botanical and cultural history of coffee as well as the global economic system that brings coffee to our supermarkets. Please note: Since this program is an initiative by the Student Council we ask that no more coffee capsules be brought into the school until they decide whether or not to run this (or a different) program next year.

Garden Expansion!
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Have you seen the garden lately? During the Spring months, students from all grade levels took part in laying landscaping fabric and hauling mulch in order to expand our school’s garden. Next Fall, we will continue the expansion to the other side of the pathway near the willow tunnel. This is allowing us to mow less as well as create more gardening space for every class level. Check back on this blog for a few gardening dates that we will have in late July and August to prepare for the 2014-15 school year. We also used a small pop-up greenhouse on our 2nd floor terrace to sow some of our garden’s seeds. Hopefully next year the winter will be a bit more tame and all of our seed will get their start in the greenhouse.

Healthy Chickens & Bees!
DSC_7040The 2013-14 school year was our first full year with our very own chickens and bees, and I’m happy to report that they are all happy, healthy, and thriving (despite the polar vortex).Chicks This year we also were able to offer a “Birthday Egg” for each student on their special day. (If you child has a summer birthday, drop me a line and I’ll be sure they get an egg in the Fall.) Our bees have split their colony in two, so we now have two hives pollinating our grounds. We’re looking forward to next year and the surprises these schoolyard mascots of ours deliver. As you read this, our chickens are at their lovely summer home in Lauraville, eating tasty new bugs and roaming around a nice large yard (pictured above).

Green Power!
green_energy_cert_2014At WSB we take the Great Law of the Iroquois to heart and put it into practice: In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation. Did you know that WSB is now offsetting all of our energy usage with 100% Renewable Energy? In April of 2014 WSB joined a Green School Purchasing Consortium through the Green Schools Alliance and became one of the twenty-eight schools in the nation that are leading the way in energy conservation and responsible use. Our actions avoid the emission 475,629 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and advances the U.S. green economy and energy independence.

The Enhanced Schoolyard Plan!
PermaOne of our most exciting developments is the introduction of our new Enhanced Schoolyard Plan. Over the last 10 months my partner, Emily, and I produced a permaculture plan for WSB that is now being re-worked into a phased implemented plan for our school’s grounds. You will start to see big changes taking place next year that will help us deliver to our students an experiential education that incorporates the natural environment utilizing our very own backyard. History lessons, math lessons, even literary art lessons, will have ecoliteracy components woven into their curriculum that will inspire our students’ imagination, deepen their retention of information, and connect them to the outside world.

That about sums up the main accomplishments of the school year. Thanks for reading. . . .  Now go outside and play!

 

 

4th & 5th Grade Camping on Wye Island

2 Jun

Last week, WSB’s 4th & 5th grade classes camped together on Wye Island for 3 days. The island is located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay. During the trip our students fully immerse themselves within Maryland’s complex ecosystem. Despite the rain (and between the s’mores), our days were packed with activities. . . . We took numerous nature hikes (one to a 300 year old holly tree), canoed in the Wye River, did a service project for the Department of Natural Resources, had a visit from Scales & Tails (a wild animal refuge project), and even sailed on a skipjack!
The week before our 8th grade class took a week-long camping trip to the Living Earth School in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia (see photos in our facebook album). WSB’s camping trips are an integral part of our curriculum because they bridge our students’ academic work with hands-on experience. These trips are so vitally important because they deepen our students’ love, respect, and understanding, of their relationship with the natural world. And it is through nurturing this internal wisdom to blossom within them that we are confident they will use their growing knowledge and power to heal the wounded planet they are inheriting, the act of which will be their generation’s greatest challenge and promise.
Please enjoy the following photos taken on the Wye Island trip:

Check out more photos of last year’s 5th grade class on a similar trip in 2013: http://sustainablewaldorf.com/2013/05/13/5th-grade-camping-trip-on-wye-island/

Adult Workshop on Indoor Anaerobic Composting 5/27 @ 8:30am

20 May

Bokashi Composting is a method that allows you to compost indoors, at a rapid pace, with only a small amount of outdoor space. Come to the Waldorf School of Baltimore on Tuesday 5/27 @ 8:30am for a 1 hour workshop that will give you the confidence to tackle this great feat on your own! Your WSB student knows how to do it — now so can you!

One lucky participant will win a WSB Composting System; and twelve participants will be able to purchase a WSB Composting System for $30. Bring a drill if you have one! If interested, please bring a check payable to Waldorf School of Baltimore. All proceeds will benefit WSB’s Green Projects.

Click on the flyer below for more details….Coffee BOKASHI 5-27-14

How to Grow a School Garden

15 May

The success of a school garden is largely dependent on whether or not the students feel and know that they were instrumental in creating it . . . and to feel that, every student needs to get their hands dirty. School gardens are about much more than just growing food — they are about connecting children with their ecosystem, cultivating a sense of stewardship, instilling a sense of place, fostering social development and teamwork, promoting a healthy lifestyle . . . the list goes on. New studies are being published almost every day about how school gardens improve academic achievement in ways we are only beginning to understand.

Over the last 3 weeks all of our students have had a hand in helping our garden grow. We’ve been hauling bin after bin of mulch up from the lower lot to the garden, laying down landscaping fabric, and spreading the mulch with shovels. We are about ready to start in on the other side near the Willow Tunnel next week. Then comes the Dyeing Plant Spiral which will be used in conjunction with our Handwork Curriculum. Check out the photos below:

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