St. Catherine’s owns three acres and additional property in the Japhet Community, a pastoral enclave in Houston’s Greater East End District. Just five minutes from downtown Houston, the land is next to Japhet Creek, a mile-long tributary that feeds into Buffalo Bayou.
The Japhet campus provides the opportunity for students at all levels to experience land-based learning as envisioned by Dr. Montessori – delving into nature-related subjects and studying the relationship between nature and the human society around it.
Care of the environment flows naturally from students’ interest in participating in their community, and from their curiosity about how their farm experience fits into the bigger picture of living in society.
One example of how Adolescent Community students use Japhet is when they plan crops, start seedlings in the greenhouse, transplant them into their garden, tend them until harvest, and then prepare them for sale in their market, The Hive.
They deposit market revenue into their classroom bank account to invest in future needs of the Adolescent Community. Other projects include beekeeping, raising chickens, soap-making, and researching renewable energy sources. In this way, adolescents begin their roles as adults in society.