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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Washington, D.C., USA

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Washington, D.C., USA
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karlg



Registered: December 2012
City/Town/Province: Arlington
Posts: 1
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My name is Karl, I grew up in Washington D.C., and later moved to the suburbs of Arlington, Virginia. Arlington is a city right outside of Washington D.C. with several trees and parks. I went to a small private school in Arlington, where my teachers were a dramatic influence on me. As I can remember my fifth grade teacher was an environmental fanatic. We raised chicks, started a recycling project, cultivated a garden, and were avid visitors to our community nature center. Growing up in a city which held annual environmental fairs and conventions, and being surrounded by nature made me who I am today. I decided to undertake the task of carrying out an Apprentice Ecologist project because I saw it as a way for me to make an impact on my environment and those around me. Serving as sophomore class president I viewed it as an opportunity for me to set an example for my fellow students and hopefully inspire them to take action in their environment. Finally, I decided to do my Apprentice Ecologist project on behalf of the Nicodemus Wilderness Project because I desired to learn more, and was prepared to broaden my perspective and challenge myself.


I conducted my project throughout the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area; more specifically Alexandria, Arlington, and Washington D.C. This metropolitan area is famous for its vast environmental initiatives; from its many green festivals to its ecology conventions held in the nation’s capital every year. Washington D.C. and its surrounding areas face the issues of land use change, urban development, pollution, litter, habitat fragmentation, and biodiversity.


I had just gotten out of rehearsal, and as any other teen would I whipped out my phone and checked all my missed phone calls and texts. I had gotten a voicemail from my aunt saying that her company was throwing out thousands of dollars worth of overstocked office supplies such as binders, letter trays, lamps, sheet protectors, and the list went on and on. At first I was excited, it meant I didn’t have to do school shopping ever again; or at least that’s what I thought. What was I going to do with the extra supplies; would they just be thrown out and wasted? I couldn’t let all those supplies go to a landfill and take up space. I sat there and thought to myself while I waited for the shuttle to pick me up, and then it dawned on me. My Apprentice Ecologist project would be reusing and recycling these office supplies to prevent waste and abate the effects of landfills.


That night I called my aunt back, and I told her my plan for the office supplies. I contacted my high school and my old elementary school to see if they or any of their students were in need of any supplies. Gratefully, we received word back that both schools were thankful and in need of some supplies. The following weekend we pulled up to my aunt’s fifteen story office building in her SUV ready to haul the supplies to the schools. It took more than 8 hours to get the supplies to both of the schools, but after that we still had left overs. We transported all the binders, folders, lamps, and so much more to my aunt’s basement, to prevent them from becoming trash. We organized and sorted through all the supplies, and created inventory. I reached out to a few local charities and other schools and set up donation times when we could stop by and drop off the supplies. I was able to decrease the amount of waste in my city and give back to those in need.

It’s very important that Washington’s and its surrounding area’s environment are taken care of because our actions not only affect those in the metropolitan area, but also those in the outlying cities of Maryland and Virginia. Our individual actions directly affect the Potomac, Anacostia, and Occoquan watershed. These rivers all connect to the Chesapeake Bay, which is home to our wildlife. It’s important we recycle and reduce waste because Washington D.C., like so many other cities, is our home, not only to us, but it’s also home to a variety of species. We share our environment, and it’s up to us to do so with proactivity.


I see my accomplishments not only beneficial for the environment, but also for the community at large. I was able to inspire and bring awareness to my fellow high school students on the important initiative of recycling and reusing materials. I was able to give to those in need and build a stronger sense of community between citizens. The tons of binders that could have gone to landfills are now being put to better use. In our environment an act of stewardship and initiative goes a long way; with this project I impacted and transformed my environment and community.


The Apprentice Ecologist Project has helped me see that helping the environment doesn’t just have to be picking up trash in the park every Saturday. It’s broadened my horizon on how I can have a long-lasting impact on my environment. This project has inspired me to find ways to give back to my community and at the same time develop a better environment. Growing up I’ve always been interested in acting. I currently volunteer 15 hours a week at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia. I work alongside other talented youth in bringing issues that face our community to life on stage and encouraging audience members to find solutions and think anew.
I’m still very much connected to the charities and organizations I’ve worked with while carrying out my Apprentice Ecologist project. I’m working with a charity to launch a summer initiative for inner city youth to have an impact on their community and environment. My love for my community and the environment will inevitably shape my future; wherever that may be.
Date: December 31, 2012 Views: 5406 File size: 10.2kb, 73.8kb : 640 x 480
Hours Volunteered: 95
Volunteers: 2
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 15 & 40 to 50
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 566.9
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becca493

Registered: December 2012
Posts: 1
December 31, 2012 7:53pm

Wow! That's fantastic!