On April 14, 2009, Marist School officially launched The Terra Project: Marist Blue and Gold Make Green, a 12-month sustainability initiative designed to raise awareness of the global effect of our actions, improve stewardship of the resources with which the school has been blessed, reduce waste, and realize cost savings. This comprehensive program involves every aspect of the school’s operations, and the entire Marist School community participates.
Each month until April 2010, the school undertook a new project to support the initiative. Projects ranged from Power-Down Month, an effort to conserve electricity by turning off lights and computers, to revamping the school’s recycling program, to reducing water consumption. Each project was designed to become a permanent part of the daily operations of the school, and subsequent projects built on previous ones.
In May of 2010, the Terra Project Council was created to make permanent changes brought on by the 12-month program. The council includes both faculty and staff, as well as student members. As a permanent part of the Marist Community, The Terra Project Council works to develop curricular and extracurricular programs to ensure that Maist School is doing all it can to preserve and protect the resources with which it is blessed.
The inspiration for the initiative came from Mrs. Luke's environmental science class and existing campus projects such as the organic garden and recycling program. It is also in keeping with the Society of Mary’s own concern for the environment as discussed in a letter from Superior General Jan Hulshof, where he writes about the idea of being “responsible and accountable for the gift of the environment and to be well informed about the worldwide environmental crisis.” The project provides an important learning opportunity for students as well as a chance for the Marist community to work together to raise awareness about the importance of conserving our natural resources and the significant cost savings such efforts can achieve.