Nicole Vanasse '20 leads Big Blue to another impressive showing.
Stewardship & Sustainability
At Pingry, we take great pride in developing students who are curious, committed, and community minded.
For over 150 years, we have been offering students a well-rounded education that emphasizes not only rigorous academics but also honor and character, respect, and service. Important focal points of that respect and service: student-led “green” initiatives here on campus and stewardship and learning experiences that impact the world beyond.
At our Basking Ridge campus, we charge students to create art with two principles in mind: environmental sustainability and a spirit of adventure. The centerpiece for this course work: the Green Art Path (GAP), a site that allows students to interact with nature through such creative activities as building sculpture made from natural materials or venturing into nature and writing about their experiences. Pingry’s own campus campsite, situated just off the path, is also a bounty of inspiration.
At our Short Hills campus, the Kitchen Garden allows students to dig deep into critical thinking and collaborative skills through the joys of gardening. Students:
- Strengthen their cooperative abilities by working together to separate school trash for composting and prepare soil beds;
- Employ their math skills by calculating optimal grid spacing for crops;
- Sharpen their research and writing skills by studying the garden's plants and describing their many sights and smells; and
- Enjoy the fruits of their labor by sharing their produce in the lunchroom.
Based on the Short Hills campus, this dedicated group of 5th graders helps to educate classmates on the importance of sustainability initiatives. In addition to cultivating a garden outside the 5th grade wing, students crush cardboard boxes monthly, collect paper from classrooms and recycling bins, weigh and post lunchroom waste amounts for composting, and educate the younger students about the proper recycling of plastic.
This group was founded with one goal in mind: to promote the values and practices of environmental sustainability within the Pingry community. Whether organizing Earth Days, securing picnic tables for outdoor dining near the Engel Dining Room, or making Pingry’s first beehive colony a reality, the Green Group is committed to making environmental education an everyday occurrence.
The roots of this long-established Pingry club stretch back to 1894 and include midnight ramblins’, snowshoein’, bear wrastlin’, and just plain takin’ it easy. Today, whether it’s hiking the woodsy campus trails, roasting marshmallows by firelight on the campsite, or organizing a variety of short and extended hiking trips off campus, you can be sure that members of the Outing Club are off discovering their next adventure.
The Headmaster’s residence, completed in 2012, is an impressive example of green construction. Built from recycled materials, the house features solar technology for hot water and electricity; geothermal heating and cooling; high-performance LED lighting and high U-value windows; interiors of reclaimed, recycled, or sustainable stone and timber; and a 6,000-gallon storm water collection system for water recycling and irrigation.
An innovative leader in real-time, web-based energy and water monitoring, the Noveda “dashboard” provides powerful technology that helps the school to monitor energy consumption in order to reduce energy and water usage, optimize performance of renewable energy systems, and reduce our carbon footprint.
We have retrofitted boilers and plumbing equipment and upgraded waste systems across both campuses, enabling us to save thousands in heating costs and millions of gallons of water. We have also reduced waste pick-ups and landfill contributions through the addition of a compactor and introduction of new recycling measures.
Pingry’s ongoing commitment to energy conservation and sustainability was recognized in 2011 when our buildings on the Basking Ridge campus were awarded the official ENERGY STAR certification, confirmation that we’re on the right track when it comes to ensuring top-functioning facilities while reducing energy consumption and costs.