Waldorf School loses green space to Loyola

Chicago Waldorf School will soon be handing over their coveted Sophia  Garden to Loyola University for development purposes.  

Waldorf School is a private, non-mainstream school which focuses – among other things – on nature and the environment.   The school is located in Rogers Park near the University, and has been using this garden space by verbal agreement with the university for  nearly eleven  years.   It is much needed space for the children to run and play, as well as to cultivate vegetables, herbs and flowers – part of the students’ curriculum.

Sheree Moratto, co-administrator of Waldorf said the school has known this would only be temporary, and has  been going back to Loyola each year to ask for  the continuation of use  for another year.  This has fostered a unique relationship between the school and the university.   Loyola never required Waldorf to pay for the land, and Loyola is continuing to work with Waldorf to look for an alternative space.   The school would like to find a permanent spot to purchase, but is not sure they can afford it.  

Parents and school personnel are  extremely upset about this change in events.   For Waldorf, open space is a valuable commodity and  the  Sophia Garden  is devastating to lose.   Still, Moratto is confident about relocating the garden, and willing to work with Loyola as both institutions continue to develop in the area.

“Having the ability to observe the natural world unfold in a setting that’s not engineered by human beings is a critical component to Waldorf education,” says Moratto.   “If we don’t have [the garden] down the street, we’re going to find a way to have it down another street.”

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