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Garden and Sustainability

The foundation for a lifetime of environmental stewardship, healthy eating, and connection to nature is developed in the outdoor garden classroom.

Ecological literacy – the ability to understand and interact with the environment sustainably – is learned through games and special projects in our Lower School garden classroom

Overall, students are better prepared for the world they inherit by exploring academics through the lens of solutions-based practices that are regenerative for soil, water, and communities.

Vital skills for regenerative living are practiced through units during a weekly garden class.

This infrastructure allows students to experience sustainability values and promote a creator culture, rather than a consumer one. Core curriculum are as follows:

  • Nature Connection and Appreciation
  • Soil, Composting, and Microorganisms
  • Water and Watersheds
  • Ecological Design
  • Food Systems and Nutrition
  • Changemakers and Communities

Students are empowered to serve as the next green leaders through ecological literacy, which is infused into the wider school culture and values in the following ways:

  • Zero-Waste Week Water Appreciation Day
  • Engineering Challenges Naturally built cob playground structures made of repurposed materials
  • Faculty practices: 100% recycled paper and non-toxic school cleaning supplies

Below are some examples of sustainability in action at AVS:

  • Outdoor classroom benches and playground structures created with bottle bricks (plastic bottles stuffed tight with items that would otherwise be sent to the landfill) and cob (a mixture of sand, clay, and straw)
  • 1000+ gallon rainwater catchment system
  • TerraCycle program to recycle mylar plastic wrappers in the lunchroom
  • Tinker Zone - outdoor makerspace where students are invited to upcycle and make objects from found material.