Outdoor & Environmental Education
Green Acres School is committed to outdoor learning—teaching the understanding of and respect for the natural world. We use our entire 15 acre campus as our classroom, extending lessons to the woods, streams, playgrounds, and athletic fields. Our teachers and staff routinely work with our students to compost, recycle, and tend gardens. In many ways, students not only enjoy the outdoors, but also develop a healthy sense of preservation and stewardship for the environment.
Our Lower School and Middle School students spend time in the woodlands, stream, gardens, and fields of our campus, observing natural science at work.
In Grade 5 students spend three days at Echo Hill Outdoor School on the Chesapeake Bay to extend their integrated science and humanities study of our state, Maryland. In Grade 6, students spend four days at Bar-T Mountainside in Urbana, Maryland, focusing on team building skills and extending their science studies with projects, such as windmill designs, geo-caching, and tree-planting activities.
In addition to multiple environmentally focused day trips, students in Grade 7 spend most of a week in Chincoteague to supplement the study of the interdependence of plants, animals (including humans), and environments. Students in Grades 7 and 8 explore the beauty of nature through photography field trips. Eighth graders also hike Old Rag Mountain, and spend several days exploring particular aspects of New York City that directly relate to their curriculum.
Green Efforts on Campus—Earth Day and Every Day
We have been working to “green” the School for many years. Following a two year application process, Green Acres was recognized as a certified Maryland Green School by the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) in 2015. Our community promotes awareness of environmental stewardship, conservation, and acting as a catalyst for change. Every day at our school we teach our students to respect our environment. Whether it’s by working together to compost and recycle, asking students to prepare natural decorations as event centerpieces or having our staff select green caterers, we teach our students to preserve our environment for the future.
To celebrate Earth Day, Green Acres students and staff work together on an array of special earth-friendly activities. In recent years, mixed-age groupings planted gardens with vegetables to be harvested for next year’s soup kitchen, collected bicycles for Bikes of the World to ship to countries with few resources, planted a garden to provide nectar for butterflies and foliage for caterpillars, and learned how different parts of the world manage their water resources through water simulation exercises. Another group created a magnificent outdoor nature mandala to remind all of the beauty of the natural world. This is just a sampling of the many hands-on activities in which students participate during Earth Day.