Residents of Wendell Dormitory planted flowers in celebration of Earth Day
The Hill School celebrated Earth Day in a variety of fun ways from Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22. On Friday, April 20 The Hill community enjoyed a local meal procured from less than 150 miles from The Hill School. The meal was designed by Chef Leon Anton in order to highlight seasonal produce and locally produced proteins. For instance, not only was the chicken and turkey produced in nearby Lancaster but the tofu in the tofu vegetable sauté was produced just 42 miles away in Philadelphia. Purchasing from local farmers and suppliers not only supports the local economy, but also reduces food transportation allowing for fresher tastier foods. View more photos here
Students really enjoyed the freshness of the food. George Cleveland ’14 said “you could tell that the meal was local. The mashed potatoes were delicious and the chicken was fresh and tasty.” Youngbin Kim ’15 agreed “that everything was really good,” and Mary Patrinostro ’13 shared that “the local ice cream from Longacre Dairy was better than anything I could buy in the store.”
On Saturday afternoon, a small group of students volunteered at Greener Partners’ Longview Farm in Collegeville. Founded by Jason Engle ’93, Greener Partners is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to connecting communities through food and farming. The Collegeville farm is the only certified organic farm in the area and has a farm market selling everything from local apples, peaches, and strawberries to locally and humanly raised meats, cheeses, and baked goods. Students assisted Longview’s Field Manager with mulching the mid-season blueberry bushes. Along the way they learned about soil inhabitants and about what is needed to grow healthy blueberries.
Saturday evening, The Green Initiative sponsored a showing of Finding Nemo. The 2004 Oscar-winning animated film was used as a base for educating students about oceans and water. For instance, before the film, 18 students met to decorate popcorn bags with facts about oceans, sea life, and water-related environmental issues. During the event, The Green Initiative teamed with the Baking Club to host a bake sale featuring Earth-friendly treats; all proceeds will go towards adopting a sea turtle through the World Wildlife Fund. Sea turtles, like “Squirt” and “Crush” in Finding Nemo, are critically endangered and at risk from habitat destruction, pollution, entanglement in fishing gear, and egg collection. By adopting an animal, The Hill School will provide funds for WWF’s conservation efforts. Charity Navigator gives WWF the highest rating, which means that WWF exceeds industry standards and outperforms most environmental charities. WWF is also a BBB Accredited charity, meeting all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Despite the rain, six Hill School students visited The Philadelphia Zoo on Earth Day - Sunday, April 22. Since only a few people braved the rain, students had the rare opportunity to get up close with the animals and talk directly with the keepers. The group’s favorite exhibit was the PECO Primate Reserve, which featured a lively family of orangutans. Cassie Borelly ‘13 greatly enjoyed this experience. “In all of the years that I’ve visited The Philadelphia Zoo I have never encountered so much rain!” she noted. “We made the most of our day visiting the indoor exhibits, especially the orangutans where we learned about how close they are to extinction. In fact, The Philadelphia Zoo has named 2012 The Year of the Orangutan committing themselves to sharing their story and preventing the extinction of this lovable animal.”