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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Canton, Michigan, USA

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Canton, Michigan, USA
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hallie27



Registered: October 2014
City/Town/Province: Canton
Posts: 1
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As a member of National Honor Society at my high school, we were required to perform a project in an area that we were passionate about, while benefitting the community in some way. After some research, my partners and I discovered the Nicodemus Wilderness Project and became excited to perform a project that modeled an Apprentice Ecologist Project. The three of us were vaguely familiar with the issues surrounding our environment, but were shocked to see the detrimental effects of not recycling simple items. It became our goal to encourage recycling in the community where we grew up. We decided to start young and encourage recycling and the preservation of the earth to elementary students.
We chose Dodson Elementary, a school in our local Michigan community, who showed interest and excitement in altering their choices school-wide to positively impact the community. We began with a presentation to the upper-elementary students about the environment, and how neglecting recycling effects the local environment. As I spoke to the students, I emphasized that their contribution to the new recycling program would make a large impact on the community, even if it didnít feel like it. We set-up separate recycling centers in their cafeteria designated for Capri Sun pouches, chip bags, and Styrofoam lunch trays. The response was incredible! Our expectations were exceeded and we ended up having to alter our plan with the school secretary to come and pick up the recycling more often because the bins were so full. We collected every day for three weeks and sent the Styrofoam trays to DART, which specializes in properly recycling the trays. The chip bags and juice pouches were sent to Terracycle, who repurposes materials.
When we shared our experiences with the Dodson staff, they encouraged custodians to find a way to continue with the recycling program. Our hope was that this green initiative would spread to other schools in the area, and that students would be encouraged to continue helping the environment. Choosing Dodson Elementary School was the perfect place to start because it gave students who were interested in learning about the environment an opportunity to feel like they were really helping the earth. Giving the presentations also allowed us to be interactive with the students and reach them on a personal level about why preserving the planet is such an important concept. We emphasized how neglecting the environment could be harmful to them and their lives in the future. My group members and I recognize how privileged we were to grow up in an involved community where there are opportunities such as this to be exposed to new ideas and projects. Since we live in a relatively urbanized area, itís difficult for us to overtly experience the effects of ignoring our planetís well being. By communicating to others what is happening and what will happen to the earth if we continue to overlook these problems, we are able to get a better sense of what we can do to help.
While my group members and I shared an equal role in the project, my job was to organize and communicate with Dodson. I contacted Stefanie Trulock, the secretary who would assist us in our project and coordinated meeting times and places with her. We met with her several times before establishing a date where we would come and speak to the students and eventually implement the recycling program. Through this communication we were able to effectively communicate our goal to her, accomplish the goals of the project, and form a relationship with Dodsonís staff and students.
By establishing a recycling program that was simple, yet rewarding, we hoped to spread a green initiative throughout our school district. We also had an article published in the schoolís weekly newsletter explaining our project that we hoped would encourage parents to start recycling and change their choices to better protect the planet. A growing community such as Plymouth-Canton needs to start executing good habits that will help it thrive even further in the future. In terms of the environment, I think people often disregard it because we canít always see the effects happening in front of us. But, obviously if action isnít taken, there will be serious problems in the future.
After completely this project, I realized how rewarding it was to take part in something that creates a chain reaction, which allows others to experience the same passion I did for helping the environment. I am a freshman at Loyola University Chicago this year, and have recently decided to become an Environment Science major. I had never been exposed to a topic in school that explored the preservation of the earth, so it was a great experience to study this issue and take action where it was needed in my community. While I am not sure what career path I will take with this major, the Apprentice Ecologist Project has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and issues I havenít even begun to scratch the surface of. I hope that through my career at Loyola, I will be able to identify problems and create my own projects or habits that really benefit a city like Chicago, where the environment isnít always a main priority. I will definitely be encouraging my friends, family, and peers at Loyola to research the Apprentice Ecologist Project and think of ways they can participate in the preservation of the earth, something that everyone should be concerned with.
Date: October 20, 2014 ∑ Views: 2884 ∑ File size: 18.6kb, 753.3kb: 2448 x 3264 ∑
Hours Volunteered: 30
Volunteers: 3
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 17 to 18
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