The Northwest School

Program Type: 
Farm Based, Garden Classrooms, Kitchen Classrooms, School Cafeterias
Grade Level/Age Group: 
Middle School, High School
Number of Individuals Program Serves: 
Year Founded: 
About the Program: 

Environmental sustainability (ES) has been core to The Northwest School’s (NWS) mission and practices since the school’s founding in 1980. Our key sustainability practices include: student and faculty engagement through the Environment Program and various sustainability groups, a student designed and managed urban F&G, a dining hall program that operates with ES principles in mind, an Outdoor Program that leads 10+ trips per year for 200+ students per year, recycling and compost bins throughout campus, a facilities departments that strives to improve energy efficiency and has environmentally conscious procurement practices, an endowment that we recently transferred to 100% ESG screened investments, grade level trips relating to environmental issues, and curricular ties across grades and disciplines.

Over the past three years, more than 300 students worked together to design and build a 3,000+ square foot campus farm and garden including 30 planter boxes, 20+ types of crops, a greenhouse, composting systems, picnic tables, and a geodesic dome seating area. Many students engage weekly in the F&G, as well as during lunch and during grade level meetings. This space is ever-evolving and is intended to be a student-managed outdoor lab, creative space, demonstration area for sustainable urban agriculture practices, food producing space, and place of joy on campus.