In the Community
“The best way to teach environmental stewardship is through the creation of tangible opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning—actively connecting individual actions with community and environmental impact.”—Carly Borken, Director of Environmental Stewardship
In addition to the formal teaching that takes place in our classrooms, Tafties learn and practice environmental stewardship through a variety of clubs, programs, and volunteer opportunities both on campus and in the community. Students may directly impact sustainability efforts on campus through our EcoMon program, or spend a semester working at Waldingfield Farm as their afternoon ex. We offer study away opportunities at places like the Island School, and fellowships for summer programs, including internships at the New York Botanical Gardens, all with an environmental focus. Tafties have attended the People’s Climate March in New York City, hosted the green Schools Alliance Sustainability Conference, and sent their support to Paris during the 2015 climate talks. Tafties are informed, aware, and engaged in both advocacy initiatives and stewardship activities.
EcoMons are the school’s environmental student leaders, educators, and liaisons. They meet weekly to plan events that will raise environmental awareness, consider solutions for sustainability concerns on campus, and review the success of our environmental programs and initiatives. EcoMons play an important role in our participation in the annual Green Cup Recycling and Green Cup Energy Challenges, are on the forefront of our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint through the constant evaluation of our energy and material consumption, waste stream, efficient technologies, and sustainable behavior. Applications are accepted in the spring for appointment to EcoMon positions for the next academic year.
Each term, a limited number of students participate in partnership programs with nearby Waldingfield Farm and Brass City Harvest as an alternative to sports. Participants visit the farm three times each week during the semester; on off days, they care for chickens, who live on campus in our solar-powered chicken coop. Depending on the season, work at the farm may include planting, harvesting, or maintaining farm equipment.
Clubs & Activities
New clubs, activities, and programs are established regularly, and may include:
- Green Cup Challenges
- Global Awareness Club
- Outdoors Club
- Taft Environmental Awareness Movement (TEAM)
- Volunteer Council
Environmentally focused Community Service Day Partners include:
- Waldingfield Farm
- Audubon Center at Bent of the River
- Brass City Harvest
- Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust
- Steele Brook Greenway
- Steep Rock Association
- White Memorial Foundation
Students earn Green Rhino Room Certification by attending a training session, committing to sustainable living habits, and having their room audited by a member of TEAM/EcoMon.