Green Roof Project

It has been just over a year since the dedication of the west side addition of the Winnetka campus and the Foundation sponsored green roof. The New Trier Educational Foundation could not have provided this wonderful resource to our students and faculty without your support. Thank you for your generosity!

The roof is being put to good use for many different activities. The sculpture class led by Art Faculty Darrin Jeziorski is creating site specific sculptures for the space. According to Mr. Jeziorski, these architectural sculptures will be based on the idea of home and its relationship to nature. Each sculpture will remain unfired and upon completion will be installed in the plant beds. Over the course of time, the weather and elements will begin to erode the structures and they will eventually return to the earth in their original state. Throughout the process, the transformation will be documented using photographs. The goal of the project is to help students understand that many, if not all, things important to them will change, so they can determine what they can and cannot control. Students will learn to take ownership of the controllable and learn to let go of what they cannot.

Glass art teacher Gardiner O’Kain brings her class to the green roof for team building activities and to photograph artwork in natural light. The space is also being used by advisories for mindfulness practices and gatherings for various clubs.


Thanks to Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt for providing special counsel to the Foundation on its first major gift fundraising initiative and for creating this video (music by Gillicuddy).

Educational Foundation Presents $100,000 to Board of Education for Green Roof

posted September 2017

On September 18, the New Trier Educational Foundation presented $100,000 raised to fund completion of the second green roof at the Board of Education meeting. Pictured from left to right: Former Executive Director Marianne Breen, Green Roof Project Chair Susan Schmitt and Foundation Board President David Buyer presented the check to Past Board of Education President Greg Robitaille.

We’re Closing In on Second Green Roof

posted February 2017

Following the $100,000 gift made by Girls’ Club and Tri-Ship in spring 2016 to fund completion of the first New Trier green roof, the New Trier Educational Foundation committed to raise an additional $100,000 for the second green roof. With over $77,000 in donations and pledges, this is close to becoming a reality.

The Foundation held an evening reception in January to thank donors who have supported the Green Roof Project thus far.  Chair Susan Schmitt and her husband Roger opened their Winnetka home for donors to mingle and listen to special remarks from Former Superintendent Linda Yonke and Associate Superintendent Paul Sally.

The Project

The expansion of the Winnetka Campus presented an opportunity for the installation of two green roofs outside the 4th floor of the new building.  Unforeseen construction issues caused funding for the completion of these two green roofs to be postponed. In late spring 2016, New Trier’s Girls’ Club and Tri-Ship stepped forward with a gift of $100,000 to fund completion of one green roof.

The Goal

The Educational Foundation raised $100,000 to fund completion of the second green roof.

The Benefits

A green roof with a functioning patio area offers many practical benefits including:

Environmental – Green roof vegetation reduces air pollution and results in noise reduction.

Financial – Plants and soil used in green roofs act as a protective shield from the elements which extends roof life. It also acts as an insulator from extreme hot or cold temperatures which helps to conserve energy.

Health, Social and Aesthetic – The natural views and green elements create a more productive, healthy, creative, and relaxing environment. Psychologists have found that even brief exposure to natural settings is mentally and physically restorative.

LEED® Certification – New Trier’s green roofs will maximize the potential to exceed the anticipated Silver level certification and possibly attain Gold level, a very prestigious achievement and reflective of an environmentally astute community.