Human connection requires two parties to willingly step into relationship with one another. Nature, however, is always waiting with open arms. As we consider how we might better walk alongside each other as humans, we must spend time in nature to refocus and reframe how we live. Today, as a community, we stepped into nature’s embrace by celebrating Earth Day 2022.
Since the 1940s, Proctor students and faculty have spent time together managing Proctor's land. Originally set up as a "Campus Improvement Squad", Proctor's Woods Team has evolved over the years alongside the acreage (now 2,500) the school stewards. Each fall and spring, a hearty group of students join faculty in the maintenance of trails, splitting of fire wood, maple sugaring, and diving into any other task needed at the time.
The Proctor Woodlands Center is a project that has been three years in the making. Through the support of generous donors who understand Proctor's deep connection to the natural world and surrounding woodlands, this building will transform the life sciences at Proctor. With an estimated completion of July 2022, the Proctor Woodlands Center will be open for science classes starting next fall.
Each of Proctor's five term-long off-campus provides a unique experience to students. For the six sophomores studying abroad in Monteverde, Costa Rica, living and learning in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world provides a hands-on learning laboratory unlike any other. Read reflections from the group's recent hike into the Children's Eternal Rainforest by Presley '24, Willem '24, and Hayden '24 in this blog post!
Recently, the Proctor Woodlands Research Team (Proctor’s latest evolution of academic and afternoon program work) and I traveled up to a point on their trail map - marked E7. We also traversed over to D7, and C7 - as the crow flies. To look at the flattened representation of that area on that map, those pins were actually a series of bright orange stakes in the ground set at regular intervals marking the spots from which the group would do their work. To be precise, E7 is indicated on the map in the Proctor Woodlands that stretches due northwest from the Woodlands Office.
After a year of hybrid classes, quarantines, mask etiquette, and fear of the novel situation of a global pandemic, we feel a little more settled entering this school year because our community has embraced the individual responsibilities required of addressing a global challenge. We have the same opportunity to teach individual responsibility as it relates to the pandemic of climate change and climate justice.