Seton Catholic School - Creating an Intelligent Community

Karen AlestockKaren Alestock

Seton Catholic School, with a student body of approximately 420, has integrated extensive sustainability initiatives into its facilities and curriculum. The students at Seton Catholic are learning to be mindful of human impact on the planet and to think and live in terms of sustainability as they become future leaders in business, education, and government. Read about Seton Catholic's sustainability efforts below.

"Seton Catholic School is proud to be included in the City of Hudson's Top7 designation for our sustainability initiatives. We know the importance of being a model for continuous improvement and education in sustainability efforts for our students and greater community. With facility upgrades for efficiency in energy and water conservation, an aeroponic plant system Tower Garden, a campus pollinator garden and bioblitzes, enhanced curriculums, recycling efforts, and partnerships with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Tinkers Creek Watershed and our designation as an Ohio Department of National Resources Division of Wildlife WILD School Site, we are committed to good stewardship of our earth."

-Karen Alestock, Principal of Seton Catholic School

Sustainability: Creating Environmental Stewards Through Education

Water StudiesStudents Conducting Water Studies

Seton Catholic School, with a student body of approximately 420, has integrated extensive sustainability initiatives into its facilities and curriculum. Seton Catholic School is situated next to Hudson Springs Park and holds an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife WILD School site designation and is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Habitat. In addition, the school is registered with the Million Pollinator Gardens Challenge.

Seton Catholic’s curriculum is formulated with sustainability in mind. Sixth grade students study soil in science and hands-on learning includes soil sampling and an introduction to composting. Seventh grade students participate in an invasive species identification and removal service-learning experience at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Hudson Springs Park. Classroom projects address invasive species, wetland preservation, impacts of urban sprawl, causes of habitat loss, deer population causes and effects, and energy resources. Students also spend time in the field performing water quality sampling to better understand the health of nearby streams in the Tinkers Creek Watershed.

Middle School students at Seton Catholic participate in ‘bioblitzes’, in this case an event designed to identify the biodiversity on the Seton Campus. Using the iNaturalist app, students participated in the international City Nature Challenge 2018 under the auspices of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and in partnership with the Tinkers Creek Watershed Partners. The City Nature Challenge is an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. It’s a bioblitz-style competition where cities are in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people.

Harvesting Tower GardenStudents Harvesting Tower Garden

Middle School students have also planted native habitat gardens, a pollinator garden, and have completed a pond reclamation project. The Middle School Garden Club, inaugurated in the 2017-2018 academic year, designed and established another pollinator garden and built bluebird nest boxes and installed a bluebird trail with State of Ohio Division of Wildlife grant money. This year’s Club is building native bee houses and has applied for grant funding to build raised flower and vegetable beds. Younger students maintain and harvest leafy vegetables grown utilizing an aeroponic plant system.

Facility sustainability efforts include efficiency upgrades to the HVAC system that allow temperature monitoring and adjustments. New lighting, both indoor and outdoor, was selected with security and energy efficiency in mind.

Seton Catholic School has recycled classroom and officer paper since 2004. Students participating in Seton Serves collect and combine paper throughout the building. In addition, both faculty and students participate in the sorting and recycling of their plastic, aluminum, and glass used in the school’s dining facilities.

Students in Hudson are being educated to be mindful of human impact on the planet and to think and live in terms of sustainability as they become future leaders in business, education, and government.