A commitment to Sustainability runs deep in the Brookwood community. Dr. Henry Oettinger serves as the school's Director of Sustainability while two other faculty members serve as sustainability liaisons, Nancy Evans for the Lower School, and CJ Bell for the Upper School. Within the community, the Parents' Association organizes an active Sustainability Committee.
Each year, usually in the fall, the community holds a Sustainability Fair, which features student exhibits highlighting sustainable practices and environmental issues, as well as outside community organizations and vendors. It is a family-friendly event where kids of all ages can experience hands-on, interesting, and fun ways to help the planet. The Fair is free and open to the public.
The Brookwood School Sustainability Mission Statement reads: Brookwood School seeks to foster a community that sustains social and ecological systems and educates for environmental awareness, productive local action, and global thinking. The School is committed to developing behaviors and attitudes that protect and enhance the environment through our teaching and learning, service, and administrative operations, and we seek to incorporate environmental principles and environmentally responsible practices as fundamental and integrated components of all Brookwood operations and programs.
Past Sustainability Fair Reviews:
Brookwood's 8th Sustainability Fair was held Saturday, November 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. At this family-friendly fair, kids of all ages experienced hands-on, interesting, and fun ways to help the planet. The fair's theme was The Water Cycle.
Free and open to the public, the annual event featured student exhibits promoting sustainable practices and outside community organizations working in the environmental field. Brookwood's Sustainability Coordinator Henry Oettinger helped organize a new format for the fair, which included team-based projects from each division. "The fair, focused on aquaculture, was a really interesting blend of old-school agriculture and cutting edge, systems thinking," explains Dr. Oettinger. "Of course, we continued to invite wonderful outside exhibitors, such as the New England Aquarium's Traveling Tide Pool and Essex County Greenbelt's Osprey exhibit. Families were able bring friends from the community to experience Brookwood at its best!"
In addition to New England Aquarium's traveling tide pool, the live animal exhibits at the fair also included wildlife from Squam Lake's Natural Science Center, the Lower School's new salt water aquarium, as well as Brookwood's own flock of chickens. Other kid-friendly activities included creating a marine craft with Maritime Heritage Center, student-designed aquaculture displays, participating in the creation of water-themed Rangoli art, making a water-themed hat using recyled fleece and more! Once agin, attendees enjoyed locally-sourced snacks and lunches in the Sustainable Cafe.
What a day! The 7th Sustainability Fair on November 2 was a huge success!
Many thanks to our incredible team of volunteers. Some 530 guests attended the event which featured 50 exhibits including 30 interactive student displays and activities. Brookwood welcomed 15 sustainable-minded organizations whose missions supported this year's garden theme.
"I was so impressed by the fair, my first one," commented a guest. "It was one of the most wonderful family events I have attended." Said another visitor, "I love this annual Sustainability Fair since it truly is an interactive, educational event for the entire community. I noticed everyone was happy learning and having fun. Great team work as always."
In addition to the impressive attendance and the fabulous range of hands-on activities, other fair highlights include: 250+ fleece hats were made, hundreds of worms moved into new biodegradable homes, 300 bulbs were planted in the Tulip Test Garden, 300 pancakes were flipped on the biomass stove, 16 alumni/ae returned for the day, 14 blazers and 20 pairs of cleats and skates were exchanged, and the colorful Rangoli design in the fronty lobby, in celebration of Diwali, was enjoyed by all!