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DAVENPORT, Iowa (Quad-City Times) — After spending a day detoxing in the final week, a group of Davenport high school students spent part of their Sunday weeding the Livinglands and Waters tree nurseries.
This was the group’s first official project, now known as the “DCSD Green Team”. The initiative was led by Landen Freeman, his senior at North High School after working at Green Iowa’s Amercorp this summer.
“What I did was try to formally establish an environmental group at the district high school,” Freeman said. They already existed independently. I did my best to make them all work together and create an opportunity for him to be known as one of Davenport’s high school student environmental initiatives. ”
Part of Freeman’s work included creating the DCSD Green Teams website.
“On this website, we have created pages for many environmental groups in Davenport, Scott County, Iowa. High school conservation teams can leverage it and branch out into partnerships. I hope so,” he said.
According to Freeman, the group’s sponsor, Northern science teacher Laura McCreary, who is a frequent volunteer at Living Lands and Waters, connected the students with the organization of the seedling project.
“That’s how we came across it [the project]I don’t know if this necessarily means a long-term partnership with Living Lands and Waters, but we are always looking to help others. It’s not just environmentalism, it’s environmental management and leadership. . Partnering with other users in the community is an important role. A formal partnership has not yet been established, but we will consider it in the future. We are now trying to make important connections so that we can start making a big impact. ”
Although only six students attended, five from North High School and one from Central High School, McCreery called the DCSD Green Team “changemakers” to see this student-led initiative bear fruit. I was delighted.
“It’s very rewarding to see them take the lead and want change,” she said. It is our first student-led initiative and we hope to grow each year.”
One promising DCSD Green Team partnership is with a national non-profit, Tree-Plenish, to distribute saplings to be planted throughout the Quad-City community.
“It’s going to be a big job,” she said. “Tree-Plenish has classes that we take and in December we will start raising funds to give the community free seedlings that we distribute. We need to find a local partner to help us out in April.It’s a pretty big project to offset our carbon footprint.”
Two other North members, senior Emma Jawron and Aaliyah Flores, agree that promoting environmental commitment and awareness in high schools is important.
“Many kids don’t know about these issues. Not everyone takes environmental science classes. “If a group like ours can share that knowledge and all that we can do, we can help people start at a young age.” As soon as you join the club, you can really look at these issues.”
“If you start young, it almost becomes a habit,” added Flores. “When you finish high school and go to college, you can spread the word about how you can help the environment. We have these solutions that people might not have thought of.”
Jauron, president of North’s environmental club, is excited to start making visible changes in his school.
“I’m excited to see how much recycling we can ultimately save and how our students will start to take more responsibility,” she said.
Flores takes the lead in promoting the club for other students through a bulletin board.
“We put things out there that people don’t realize and that touch their heartstrings. “It looks like. Instead, let’s make a positive impact and provide solutions by doing this or this,” she said. Even small things like using a can make a difference.”
So far this year, North’s conservation team has been circling their classrooms to share informational videos on proper recycling practices. Jauron said he also plans to sell reusable straws to student groups.Flores said they are also working to promote through schoolhouse announcements
Freeman is the president of North’s Student Board. He hopes to use his unique platform to help DCSD Green grow his team.
“There are a lot of really great conversations going on in our conservation team and environmental science classes. I was able to go see , and there were a lot of great ideas,” he said. “While I am still navigating my role, I hope to develop many of these ideas and concerns further and develop a proposal to submit to the school board to bring the conversation to that level. There are some really exciting things at the board level.”
“High school students are uniquely positioned in their communities…We always hear that the young people of the world are the future, and if we speak enough, we have the best chance of being heard,” Freeman said, adding that career field. “There are many opportunities to make an impact, but it can also be rewarding.”
Three students plan to continue their commitment to the environment and sustainability after high school.
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