Sustainability Project

Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another. Each area is responsible for the care of this family.”
– Pope Francis, ‘Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home’

Goal

It is our goal as science educators to teach our students how our mission ties into environmental stewardship and increase student involvement in developing biodiversity on the Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy campus.
 
We are called to…

Be stewards of God’s creation as Christian People

Take care of the earth and all its inhabitants as Upright Citizens

Provide opportunities for students to put their learning into action as Academic Scholars

Priorities

  • Attain/maintain Michigan Green School “Evergreen” status.
  • Convert landscape and create state‐designated pollinator habitat.
  • Establish native plant species to support native pollinators and honeybees.

Learning Opportunities & Resources

Melissa Kozyra Greenhouse and Botany Learning Lab

Our state‐of‐the‐art facility—open to students of all ages—features Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) and Bato Bucket hydroponics systems. Under the direction of a faculty greenhouse manager, NDP students help operate and maintain the facility. They can take elective science courses such as Botany and Horticulture starting in 10th grade. As part of their learning they grow fruits, leafy greens, and flowers and plants, which they donate to various organizations in Oakland County and beyond.

Living Beehives

Not many people our age have the opportunity to learn about bees this way. It is important to study bees and their habitats because they have such a large impact on the environment. Without them, many plants would not be pollinated, so studying them is of great importance for our planet."
– Keely McLeod, NDP student

As pollinators, honeybees provide a crucial service to the plant reproductive cycle, and thereby support the food web of our ecosystem. Notre Dame supports these insects—voracious in their appetite for nectar—while studying their fascinating behavior.

We have four active honey beehives on school grounds, enabling NDP biology students to engage in hands-on learning. They study their lifecycle, relationship with agriculture, feeding preferences, behaviors, and more.

Middle and upper school students in our Bee Club do routine hive checks, harvest honey, and provide seasonal hive maintenance. During the winter months, they continue their bee education, and also sell honey and beeswax lip balm to fellow students, faculty and staff.

To read more about what we’re doing and to see videos of honey harvests and swarm captures, check out our Twitter feed located on this page.