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Stewardship of the Land

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A Fierce Attachment to the Land
St. Stephen's Episcopal School occupies some of the choicest land in Travis County. The developed part of campus occupies a 100-acre core with breath-taking views of the Hill Country and Lake Austin. The surrounding undeveloped 300 acres provide a buffer from the suburbs, a natural laboratory, and a place to renew the spirit.

The St. Stephen's Board of Trustees approved the formation of a land stewardship committee for many compelling reasons — environmental, strategic, economic and educational. The strongest case for the importance of the committee, however, could be based on the experiences of the alumni, students and faculty who have lived on and loved the land.
 
The committee has helped develop a land-use and management plan that:
  • Guides new development into appropriate areas that are the least environmentally sensitive
  • Manages undeveloped areas so they are healthy (diverse in flora and fauna), environmentally sound and self-sustaining
  • Creates the means for more students to experience the natural setting of St. Stephen's

Master Site Plan
In the spring of 2008, the board of trustees approved a new 10-year campus Master Site Plan with a keen focus on land management for undeveloped portions of the school property. This new plan is rooted in the earliest work of our founders, the Rev. William Brewster and the Rt. Rev. John E. Hines. They laid out the school in the three distinct zones that compose our campus today: academic, residential and athletic.
 
Their original design ideals remain evident across campus today. Buildings blend southwestern ranch and mid-century modernist design, and the centerpiece of our land is the native stone Chapel, adorned with its timber cross, which perfectly symbolizes the school’s natural architectural aesthetic. Situated at the highest point on The Hill, the Chapel integrates our campus into the natural setting and serves, both literally and figuratively, as the heart of our school community. Stroll around the outside of the Chapel, and you will find, in all directions, evidence of our dramatic growth throughout the last 20 years.
Hailey Wozniak: the Good Seed

By Jaclyn Horton '14

Driving on to campus on a sunny spring day, you may notice the lovely indian paintbrushes and Texas bluebonnets growing on the side of the road. We can all thank Hailey Wozniak, a junior who has attended St. Stephen’s since 7th grade, for these magnificent flowers.

Wozniak has received two Lady Bird Johnson Seed grants, which she used to buy?a mix of bluebonnets and other flowers for the St. Stephen’s campus. After walking around and enjoying our campus’ natural beauty, Wozniak decided, with the advice of other student government members, that the best place to plant the flowers would be on the road that leads on to campus. Wozniak and other volunteers then began the process of spreading seeds around the selected area. She said it was scary at first because the flowers did not grow right away. Suddenly, however, “the road was really pretty,” she said of the flowers that began budding near the school’s entrance.

While talking to Wozniak, it became evident that she is a strong believer that flowers are an important part of our community because they bring magnificence to places that may not have had any before. “Aesthetic beauty is underrated a lot of times,” she said.

When spring arrives, the road to St. Stephen’s will once again blossom with gorgeous flowers. Wozniak’s hard work enhances the natural beauty of our campus and ensures that we will have colorful presents every spring.