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EF Students Take Part in Clean-Up to Help Combat Climate Crisis

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May 7, 2021

By Rick Pezzullo—

Students at EF Academy pitched in on Earth Day to do their small part in combatting the climate crisis and help reduce the carbon footprint in Westchester.

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As part of a campus-wide clean-up on the 97-acre property in Thornwood, students collected nearly 1.5 tons of garbage that had piled up over 15 years from the previous two owners of the property.

EF Academy is an affiliate of Switzerland-based EF Education First, which owns the EF International Language Center in Tarrytown, which hosts about 5,000 students from 70 countries on the former Marymount College campus.

EF Academy bought the former Thornwood Conference Center property on Columbus Ave. for $17 million from The Legionaries of Christ.

“Collecting almost 1.5 tons of trash from our grounds exceeded any expectation that I had,” said Stewart Ebersole, Science Teacher and head of the clean-up. “I am thankful for all those folks who were involved, especially the team of folks who cleaned up our huge pile of trash in five large loads.”

In addition to clean-ups, the school has implemented planet-protecting initiatives in their campus garden. The school has eight long planters in the West Quad, where they grow and farm fruits, vegetables, herbs and more.  In their efforts to reuse and recycle, the students have placed bins in their dining hall, for leftover food to be deposited and eventually used as compost in the garden.

In the coming months, the school will be building a chicken coop and have the ability to collect and use farm-grown eggs in the dining hall.

“We take pride in caring for our campus,” said Luca Wallisch, a senior at EF Academy. “The school is always giving us opportunities to work hands-on, such as planting a Senior Tree every year.  Not only is it a lasting memory for the seniors, but also a terrific opportunity to help the planet.”

“We’ve come a long way,” said Jason Kirscher, Head of International Admissions and seven-year employee. “Activities like these are epitomes of our mission, ‘opening the world through education,’ and I’m proud to have been here long enough to see how our campus initiatives have grown.”

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