GFS SCHOOL NEWS

Today marked our first-ever Forest Day! Forest Day is an all-school, day-long event designed to celebrate our campus, learn more about environmental stewardship and come together in caring for our campus and the world around us. The day included special speakers, hands-on activities across campus for all divisions and opportunities to learn more about how we can make a positive impact; we concluded the day by coming together as a community. 

“As a school, we did this for now and for the future,” said Head of School Chris Hughes. “We did more than work on our campus today; we planted and nurtured seeds within our students for their lives as vital stewards of the environment.”

Read on to learn more about and see photos from the division-specific projects our students engaged in around campus!

Speakers

To begin the day, the Lower School and Preschool welcomed their speaker, Animal Care Manager Mallory Mlynarek of Irvine Nature Center, who brought along a Wood Turtle and Northern Diamondback Terrapin to the Middle School Auditorium. Lower Schoolers and Preschoolers got to ask Mallory all of their critter-related questions.

Meanwhile, in Garland Theater, Middle and Upper Schoolers heard from Manager of School Programs Brittany Rogers, also from Irvine Nature Center, who was accompanied by an Eastern Box Turtle, Corn Snake and an American Toad.

In the afternoon, the Middle and Upper Schools again gathered in Garland Theater to learn from Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Martha Colhoun Williams ’85, who shared her journey to her impressive role as well as emphasized the importance of caring for the world around us. She shared photos of her adventures and travels and left us with the reminder that we can all make a difference in protecting and preserving our world and the creatures in it.

Upper School

After hearing from their first speaker, Upper Schoolers scattered all across campus to complete their projects. They built Critter Habitats like bat boxes and insect hotels, painted paving stones and completed pond projects like creating a floating garden and cutting back invasive species, working together to create a more sustainable campus.

Middle School

Middle Schoolers learned about surveying trees, then headed out into the Forest to survey and assess the condition of trees around campus. This process included taking measurements, conducting leaf presses and completing bark rubbings along with accompanying notes. 

Lower School & Preschool

Our youngest Grizzlies got to work planting bulbs and milkweed, weeding and picking up trash in various areas around campus. Along the way, they even fed our chickens!

Tree Dedications

The day of learning about environmental stewardship closed out with ceremonial tree dedications, where each division gathered to plant a White Oak sapling. Student leaders in each division helped plant the trees, and then the community came together for an all-school celebration in front of Marshall-Offutt.