Niagara Catholic’s commitment to environmental stewardship dates back decades.
From the creation of Green Niagara Catholic, which guides our system to be environmentally sustainable whenever possible, to our province-leading 10 years of 100 percent EcoSchools certification, Niagara Catholic leads by example.
On February 11, Niagara Catholic moved the needle on environmental stewardship even further, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Mohawk College in Hamilton through its new Climate Change Leaders initiative. Niagara Catholic is one of nine Golden Horseshoe school boards to sign on, and one of a few to participate in the launch of the program at the carbon-neutral Joyce Centre on Mohawk’s campus.
Director of Education John Crocco was invited to be one of the keynote speakers at the launch of the program. During his speech, he referenced Saint John Paul II and Pope Francis and their appeals regarding climate change.
“There is an order in the universe which must be respected, and that the human person, endowed with the capability of choosing freely, has a grave responsibility to preserve this order for the well-being of future generations,” said Director Crocco, quoting the late Pope. “I wish to repeat that the ecological crisis is a moral issue.”
He continued, quoting Pope Francis: “If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us.”
Niagara Catholic student trustee Jade Bilodeau was also invited to speak, and urged her fellow students to answer the call to preserve the environment. She spoke of our “imperative duty” to protect the environment, noting it is students today who will impact generations of students to come and urged her fellow students that crucial change must begin now.
“Climate change is a real and threatening crisis,” she said. “I have hope in students … and that enough individuals will answer the call to be stewards of the Earth, and that students will be at the forefront of change.”
The event included the signing of an informal memorandum of understanding between the Directors of Education and Mohawk College, and concluded with a symbolic signing of a solar panel.