How the Environmental Club is Making an Impact on Our Community

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Catherine Brennan

Members of the Environmental Club paint storm drains to show they drain to the Chesapeake Bay.

Catherine Brennan, Editor

At Oakdale, protecting the environment is an important thing for many students and staff, especially those involved in the Environmental Club. 

 

The goal of this club is to become a certified “Green School” by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, or MAEOE. Becoming a Green School means being recognized for the sustainability efforts made by students and staff. If certified, Oakdale will join 635 other Maryland schools that hold this title. The club, led by environmental science teacher Elizabeth Nave, is spearheading this effort.

 

“It’s going to be an ongoing club where we just try to establish sustainable solutions at school and work with the community as well as far as environmental concerns,” described Nave.

 

A recent project that was completed was painting the storm drains near the school to remind people of the fact that the drains eventually lead to the Chesapeake Bay, which has suffered the effects of pollution. 

 

Another upcoming project is implementing the use of compost bins in the cafeteria, to reduce the amount of solid food waste accumulated during lunch time. This, of course, won’t begin until students are back in the building, just one of the projects that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Common events such as community litter pick-ups have been affected due to concerns of possible spread.

 

Even though in-person meetings have halted, those involved are still passionate about the environment and helping others understand why they believe it’s so important, like Junior Paige Smith, a member of the club.

 

“Personally, being involved in the club has continued to spark my passion for the environment, and made me want to help educate others too,” explained Smith.

 

The club is making strides in the Oakdale community towards sustainability and awareness of the environmental issues that we are facing. Like any form of activism, it may feel as though one person making their own decisions doesn’t have an impact on the effort as a whole. Mrs. Nave has another perspective.

 

“People think one person doesn’t make a difference, but it adds up,” Nave encouraged. 

 

Simply line drying your clothes, turning off lights when not in use, and recycling more can have a greater impact than many realize. The environmental club is taking many steps further towards sustainability due to their collective passion for helping the world flourish.