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Sustainability is an approach to living on this planet and with each other that sets as a priority the thoughtful use of resources so that future generations inherit a healthy and productive planet.

At Maplewood Richmond Heights, we have infused sustainability learning and practices throughout the district.  From course work at our secondary schools to participation in Sustainable St. Louis, MRH is committed to sustainable practices in all aspects of the district—education, families, food, facilities, the ecosystem, and the community.


Four gardens at the district help educate students about the natural world around them. The focus is on MRH produce sold at local farmers' marketnature, life cycles, and nutrition, and students are immersed in health literacy throughout the garden curriculum.

Program Goals

  • Promote principles of sustainability and stewardship
  • Teach respect for nature and the environment
  • Teach the basic principles of organic gardening
  • Engage in hands-on exploration of food and nutrition 
  • Emphasize healthy lifestyle choices
  • Promote the value of cooperation, teamwork, responsibility and sense of place
  • Use the garden as an outdoor classroom
  • Create a sense of community among students, teachers, parents and members of the community
  • Support all areas of the curriculum using the natural world as the tools.

Almut Marino, Director of Seed to Table
MRH Early Childhood Center
2801 Oakland Avenue
Maplewood, MO 63143

Jessica Mathis, Director of Seed to Table
MRH Elementary School
1800 Princeton Place
Richmond Heights, MO 63117

Melissa Breed-Parks, Director of Seed to Table
MRH High School/Middle School
7539 Manchester Road
Maplewood, MO 63143

Irene Wan, MRH Director of Food Services
7539 Manchester Road
Maplewood, MO 63143

MRH Chicken Project

In August, 2009, the school district launched the MRH Chicken Project by establishing a coop and a chicken run Sustainabilityat the early childhood center, and populating it with 14 chickens. Chickens have been providing meaningful instruction for students from preschool through high school with regards to the life cycle, biology, nutrition, and care for the living world. In addition, the Chicken Project is a resource for community members wishing to raise their own chickens. Learn more: Check out the Chicken Fact Sheet, listen to the NPR story about the chickens, or purchase a book on chickens published by student “chickenologists.”

Blue Devil Bees

Like the MRH chickens, the bees are helping students learn about the natural world and about where food comes from, but they’re also learning about science and how to make and market products like honey, beeswax lip balm, and candles. The bees, located on MRH grounds at the Student Success Center, are managed by a middle school student bee club. Learn more: Check out the Bee Reference Guide.

Buildings and Grounds

Not only is MRH introducing sustainability learning for its students, but it also has embraced sustainability practices in how it manages its facilities. Green cleaning projects, low-energy lighting solutions, efficient heating and cooling systems (and windows!), and more. In 2011 through a grant, MRH replaced numerous light switches with motion sensor to ensure using energy only when needed.