On Monday morning, the sun defied all weather reports and shone down merrily on our campus as we celebrated Earth Day.
The morning started off with a presentation by guest Felicia Ortner, a wildlife conservationist from Connecticut, who has been studying bears for twenty five years. Ortner discussed the reemergence of black bears in New England since the 1970s, and many aspects of their lives, habits and interactions with humans. Ortner showed a number of wonderful photographs of black bears that she has taken in her many encounters with the animals throughout the years.
After this speech, students were split into groups for two hour morning and afternoon sessions, led by faculty members. The groups included: canoeing on a local pond, roadside cleanup, a climate change and food supply workshop, organic garden work, constructing bird houses, a tour of the Wood Pellet Plant and Nature Center, a hike on the Eliza Adams Gorge, trail work in Shieling Forest, Earth Day filming, Geocaching, making Plarn (Recycled Plastic yarn), church yard work, a tour of an organic farm and a hike up Mount Monadnock. In between sessions, the School enjoyed a “localvore” lunch put together by our dining staff, which consisted of meat and vegetables from local farms.
The day culminated with a community dinner, when we were able to come together as a group and discuss our experiences. Our many projects and activities fostered a better sense of understanding and appreciation for the natural world around us.