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April 29, 2024

Angels Take Action on Earth Day

Activities, awareness, and a chance at Green Flag School accreditation were highlights of Earth Day 2024 at Holy Angels. The Green Action Team, led by Ellie Sawyer, organized a campus-wide celebration with EcoSchools AHA and support from faculty and staff. Student coordinators included Eva Santelli, Hollie Melia, Anissa Lena, Emma Bang, Mikayla Yee, Lily Gee, and Charlize Glaser. Faculty advisers Andrew Sanchez and Sean Hickey, who is AHA’s sustainability coordinator, provided assistance and mentorship.

Rev. George Maize takes a look at some of the chalk art creations.


“We are so fortunate here at Holy Angels to be surrounded by so much nature,” Sawyer said of the Academy’s 25-acre campus. “My personal passion for the environment came from having a deep connection to nature and many positive experiences in the natural world. I hope that the student body took this opportunity to have a moment to slow down and form a connection with nature. Activities like chalk drawing, meditation, and yoga were geared to help the students appreciate what is around them every day that they might take for granted. We also took this opportunity and all the hands we had to help to make some changes on our campus. With the help of Project Greenhouse, we planted a pollinator garden. We planted a wildflower garden in (an unused) back corner of the grounds. We even built bee houses and pollinator watering stations.

Green Action Team President Ellie Sawyer.


“My time with the Green Action Team has been the highlight of my AHA experience. I am so proud of what the team was able to put together for everyone. It was a lot of planning and after-hours work, and I want to recognize the hard work of the Green Action Team, Mr. Sanchez, and Mr. Hickey. It is student groups like this one that enrich Holy Angels and make it a place where students’ passions are recognized and given a place to flourish.”


Angels in Grades 6-12 participated in a variety of events, many of which highlighted how one individual’s actions can have a positive impact on the greater environment. Upper school activities included weeding invasive plant species (such as garlic mustard), birdwatching, and more.


“We are in the process of trying to earn Green Flag Accreditation, and we hope our Earth Day projects will put us over the line,” Mr. Hickey shared. “I am so happy that the Green Action Team and EcoSchools AHA, along with several faculty volunteers, were able to put together an outdoor Earth Day celebration for the entire school. The club members’ planning and vision helped create a variety of memorable activities for students to take part in. It was wonderful to see everyone outside enjoying the day, and a number of projects…have brought additional beauty and interest to the campus. By removing invasive weeds, planting a pollinator garden, sowing a wildflower meadow, and making seed bombs with native wildflowers, we hope to make a positive contribution to local biodiversity efforts. Thank you to everyone who made the day a success.”

Angels worked in AHA’s greenhouse on Earth Day.


AHA students get involved in a range of projects that support environmentally sustainable practices at school and in their communities. Students lead school-wide efforts to ensure proper recycling of plastics, metals, and paper, and promote the reuse of clothing and the sharing of (non-academic) books. A recent project brought a liquid disposal bin to campus to facilitate bottle recycling efforts.


Several Angels volunteer their time for organizations that include Clean Ocean Action and Hackensack Riverkeeper. Each year on Service Day, the sophomore class joins forces to tidy Allison Park.