Planting Seeds for a Sustainable Future

"What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?" Laudato Si #160

Reverence for Earth is one of many ways that Mercy students around the globe put faith into action. Classroom learning around ecological topics extends to an array of initiatives and activities that challenge students and educators alike to live as responsible stewards of creation. With pride we showcase their efforts here to respond to the cry of the Earth, in keeping with the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concern for Earth and the Sisters' Laudato Si' Action Platform goals.

Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall

Milford, Connecticut

Earth Day marks the grand opening of the Crusader Consignments on-campus thrift store, an idea spearheaded by two juniors concerned about the sweatshop conditions in which Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women work to produce clothing as well as the environmental impact of fast fashion. The Crusader Consignments partnered with the National Honor Society’s 40 Days of Lent/ 40 Boxes initiative to collect donations of gently used clothing to stock the store for its grand opening.

Infant of Prague Nursery and Kindergarten

Mangilao, Guam

Students, teachers, staff and administrators have been practicing simple actions that make a big impact for Earth. Nine coconut trees were planted outside the infant room area. We are being mindful of turning off lights, appliances and devices when not in use. To limit printing, communications to parents are done electronically as much as possible.

St. John Bosco Vocational Training Centre

Hatfield, Manchester, Jamaica

To fulfill their goal of sustainable development, the 4H club planted a fruit orchard of 21 trees. Members of the club oversee their care, and future students will benefit from the fruits of their labor!

Students also conducted an assessment to evaluate “vampire” power consumption in electronic devices within the computer lab. Their work has provided valuable insights for implementing energy-saving measures.

Mercy High School

Farmington Hills, Michigan

Combining the Critical Concerns for Earth and Women, students and staff are stocking each restroom with sustainably manufactured menstrual products, which will be available free of charge. Students will learn about green-friendly manufacturers for these products as well as eco-disposable strategies.

Assumption High School

Louisville, Kentucky

On March 25, Assumption High School hosted a sustainable fashion show for the entire school that featured several examples of slow fashion as well as facts and statistics about the ways fast fashion harms the environment. Seven teachers and six students modeled outfits from consignment and thrift stores, family and friend hand-me-downs and fair trade stores as well as outfits that had been worn dozens of times.

Instituto María Regina

La Ceiba, Atlántida, Honduras

Our project is a nursery, and its name is: Te Quiero Verde. Its main purpose is the production of plants to supply the demands of reforestation programs. We will also address issues such as: garbage, recycling, health and sustainable development, among others.

Mount St. Mary Academy

Little Rock, Arkansas

The HoneyBelles Bee Club at Mount St. Mary Academy recently added a third beehive to the collection it currently oversees at the school. In April, members of the club hosted elementary students on campus to talk about beekeeping, show them parts of the hives, and educate them on the importance of pollinators. On Earth Day, the club will host a Pop-Up Shop to sell items members have created using honey from their hives, such as lip balm and soap, and to share more about bees’ significance to the earth.

Mercy Career & Technical High School

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As part of the Mercy Earth Challenge Mercy Career & Technical High School is undertaking the following projects:

  • Re-habilitating the area around a reflecting pond that has fallen into disrepair. The pond will be emptied, cleaned, and a new filter installed. The area around the pond will be planted with native pollinator plants that will benefit local birds and insects.
  • Organizing a shoe drive for Soles4Souls, with a goal of keeping 200 pairs of shoes out of landfills and going to people who need them.
  • Instituting Meatless Mondays in the cafeteria.
  • Encouraging everyone to take more public transportation or carpool, bike, or walk more to school. We will keep track and offer incentives during Earth Month.

Mercy Heights Catholic Nursery & Kindergarten

Tamuning, Guam

Mercy Heights Catholic Nursery & Kindergarten continues to promote recycling to educate our students the importance of caring for the Earth. We are also preparing our sustainable garden for planting during our Earth Day celebration!

Walsingham Academy

Williamsburg, Virginia

For Earth Day this year, Walsingham Academy has several projects and activities planned, including an inspirational coloring contest on recycled paper featuring Mr. Lakes’s artwork. Other projects include distributing milkweed plants to both Lower and Upper School students and daily trivia contests about Earth facts with winners receiving donated plants from a local business. Additional grade level activities are planned to include biodegradable flowerpots, recycled art, and more!

The Campus Laboratory School of Carlow University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Bird Lab joined us on March 22, as part of the Visiting Artist series organized by Visual Arts Educator, Leigh Roche. Students chose bird themed workshops hosted by participating Campus Laboratory School educators, visiting artists Nick Liadis of Bird Lab, Sarah Zeffiro, and Wild Bird Recovery. This experience highlighted Interdisciplinary Learning through birds, conservation, human stewardship, and the Mercy Core Values.

Holy Cross High School of Kolambugan Inc.

Kolamburgan, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines

The Philippines CORE Group and Kinaiyahan Savers Club, facilitated by the Coordinators Miss Loren T. Epong, Miss Jenisa Rolos, Miss Cherry Mae R. Tejano and Miss Agnes T. Sabadoquia, engaged in mangrove tree planting and coastal clean-up on April 1.

Mercy Montessori Center

Cincinnati, Ohio

Mercy Montessori infuses sustainability practices into the curriculum for all of our students in preschool through 8th grade. Composting, recycling, and reusing have become part of our students’ daily routine and our Farmessori program provides an opportunity for our students to grow and sell local produce at summer Farmstands in the community. Our partnership with the Cincinnati Reuse and Recycling Hub has allowed us to create a mini-hub at school which prevents hard-to-recycle items from going to the landfill - including a recent collection of eclipse glasses that will be donated to viewers in Latin America for the next eclipse!

Mount Mercy Academy

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo was lucky enough to be in the path of totality for the Solar Eclipse on 4/8/24. It was an amazing experience! Our school is in the process of collecting the solar eclipse viewing glasses in order to recycle and donate them to developing countries.

Second, students are facilitating a school wide textile drive. We are asking all the members of our school community to clean out their closets and old clothes. Items will be donated to Go Recycle Buffalo, an organization committed to repurposing and recycling textiles to help shrink local landfills.

St. Mary Academy – Bay View

Riverside, Rhode Island

The school will engage in a week-long series of activities to celebrate Earth Day. Highlights of the week include planting pollinator gardens; building bee boxes, butterfly boxes, and bird houses; and creating posters on Fast Fashion, Meatless Mondays, and Reducing Our Carbon Footprint. We will conclude the week gathered around our statue of Catherine McAuley with a prayer service on the theme of Care for the Earth.

Mercy High School

Baltimore, Maryland

As an International Baccalaureate World School, Mercy High School Baltimore proudly offers the Middle Years Programme which culminates in a self-driven, extended project for each sophomore. This year, Cailee C. ’26 created two separate murals with waste she and her family generated. This project was presented to the entire school community at the end of February to inspire the Mercy community to be more mindful of the environment.

Copyright 2024 Catholic Review Media, Baltimore. Photo: Kevin J. Parks/CR Staff. Used with Permission.

Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary

Ambler, Pennsylvania

During our March faculty and staff in-service, our community participated in a prayer service centered on recognizing God’s creation and praying for responsible stewardship and education for our students.

The faculty who attended the Mercy Education Conference in Jamaica presented the information from the conference. Teachers and staff were then provided resources and lesson plans to explore from the Mercy Education website to utilize in their classrooms.

To celebrate Earth Day, students will create a flower wall art project using plastic water bottles. The school also plans to expand the existing pollinator garden which serves as a site for the Mercy Monarch Milkweed project as well as a St. Kateri Habitat.

The content of this publication is submitted by our Mercy schools. Thank you to all who contributed!