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MAR. 24, 2017

Ninety Years…What is Next for ENF?

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Environment is one of the four Cornerstones here at The Outdoor Academy.  It is a main focus of our students’ education during each semester.  We discuss the status of the environment in our Environmental Seminar, we explore our local environment on outdoor trips, and we become intimate with different aspects of the environment during discussions and readings in science and English.  As a whole, the environment is pretty important to us at The Outdoor Academy.

This love and importance goes beyond the school and into the entire Eagles Nest Foundation.  With our centennial firmly on our heels (2027) the foundation has taken huge strides to honor our environment.  Just recently 76% of our land went into a conservation easement in order to ensure the longevity of the magic of these woods.  Other measures that are in place are our strategic initiatives.  This is where our OA students are working.

ENF has identified three main strategic initiatives.  Our math and Environmental Seminar students have been asked, as an honors project, to research and propose ideas to fulfill the second strategic initiative, Define and implement our commitment toward 21st century environmental ethics and practices.  Students are working in pairs to create presentations about LED lighting, solar power, rain gardens, more efficient machinery on campus, and other sustainable ideas such as adjusting our food sources to lessen our carbon footprint.  They have been discussing various methods and case studies in Environmental Seminar and calculating the actual cost of a new, sustainable system in comparison to our current model in math.  At the end of the semester the students will present their ideas to each other, undergo a question and answer period from faculty and students, and ultimately vote on the best ideas to move forward to our Executive Director and Head of School.

This is an incredible opportunity for students to connect the theories and ideas to their lives.  Past presentations have impacted the faculty and staff enough that students have been looked at as local experts long after their assignment has been given a grade; often being asked questions at lunch or between classes.  Students at The Outdoor Academy look to make the world a better place in an intelligent and sustainable manner.  Ask your nearest student about their ideas, they are pretty good!

Racheal Duffy, Math Teacher and Wilderness Leader