Metro Catholic Teachers Train Earth Partnership Teachers
Metro Catholic teachers Emily Paskert and Mike Shivey are trained in environmental sustainability learning through the Earth Partnership for Schools Program. This summer Emily and Mike helped to train 30 more area teachers in sustainability education. Program partners included Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District and Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Metro Catholic’s urban garden program began in 2002 with a Peace Garden. The garden club and garden space continue to grow. In 2008 Doty and Miller architects worked with our staff and our student Green Committee to design and construct a model green classroom that we plan to replicate. Currently Metro Catholic is developing a 3,400 sq. ft. adjacent property from the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. This space will include raised beds, rain barrels, native plantings and a student performance area.
The Peace Garden, begun in 2002, is flourishing at Metro Catholic. Students learn through hands on activities how to: share responsibility, grow plants organically by maintaining the soil, name and recognize beneficial insects and plant companion plants in the same area to promote healthy plant growth.
As a spiritual practice, students deepen into an awareness of being attentive to the moment and appreciate the beauty and silence of being in touch with the earth. Students share produce from the garden with their families and local food pantry programs. In recent years, Gail Schmitt, a St. Stephen’s Alum, has sponsored a plant sale to fund equipment and plants needed for the garden.
Earth Partnerships for Schools: Teachers Participate in Summer Workshop
RESTORE (Restoration, Education, Science Training, and Outreach for Regional Educators)
In 2011, two Metro Catholic School Teachers, Emily Paskert (Pre-School/ Resource Teacher) and Michael Shivey (Seventh Grade Teacher) attended a two–week workshop sponsored by Earth Partnerships for Schools. The workshop focused on sustainability by shaping “restoration” teams to create a national learning community of professionals interested in high-quality teacher professional development and schoolyard habitat restoration education. Among the many goals for “green dreams” at Metro Catholic School, Emily Paskert hopes, “ that the school is able to incorporate some of the key elements into the planning and construction of the green space near the Michael building.” She is also excited by the opportunity for students to be active participants in the planning, building, maintenance and enjoyment of the space.” Michael hopes that the Metro community will keep sustainability in the forefront of its daily activities.
What is Next?
Metro Catholic’s Learning Garden is now under construction. The property was purchased from the Cuyahoga County Land Bank after a foreclosed house was removed. The Garden supports the Detroit/Shoreway Neighborhood’s EcoVillage plan to protect our earth.