Nicodemus Wilderness Project
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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - El Modena High School, Orange, California, USA

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El Modena High School, Orange, California, USA
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Registered: December 2018
City/Town/Province: Orange
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Nicodemus Ecology Initiative

One of fondest family memories as a child was walking across the natural bridge created by a fallen sequoia. I remember the shrieks of my younger siblings as they entered freezing river beds and how easily I was mesmerized by the tranquillity of the mirrored mountain landscapes across lakes. My encounters with bears, buffalo, and deer are as numerous as they are timeless. In this early exposure to the fauna and flora around me, I was able to thrive from my appreciation for the natural world. From these experiences, I grew to appreciate natural life around me and yearned to strengthen the respect for natural resources and beauty.

My name is Hannah and this past year, I completed my Girl Scouts Gold Award as a senior at El Modena High School. Witnessing gang presence in the neighborhoods around my school, I knew that my service project needed to address the lack of mentorship and emphasize healthy community relationships. I also wanted to connect this need with the importance of protecting the environment. Maintaining a balanced ecosystem is essential to the well-being of all inhabitants. We sometimes forget that the world is not at our disposal.

The target audience my project serves is the early child development students enrolled at Orange Children and Parents Together (OCPT). This organization offers early education to the age range 3-7 year olds. There is a strong correlation between air and water pollution in communities with gang exposure. I felt that an education on a sustainable environment was the best way to alleviate this growing issue. I reached out to OCPT because of their centert’s proximity to our high school. I had a group of volunteers from my high school come teach the environmental lessons to these young students. This was a way for youth in our community to look up to older mentors who promote the need for environmental change.

To address the lack of resources for the underserved youth, I led the development of Project Go Green, an environmental science curriculum. Project Go Green focuses on conservation, appreciation, and method of growth in its activities. My team of local businesses, my peers from high school, and my close friends and family members helped me introduce Project Go Green. I began recruiting curriculum designers from the STEM class at my school. I created presentations to reach out to various service groups like the Environmental Club, Red Cross Club, Educators Rising Club, and Friday Night Live. My basketball teammates also joined in the initiative.
To establish a physical representation of sustainability, I designed a vertical hanging garden made of soda bottles as pots. I gained the support of Ganahl Lumber, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and Montoya Gardens I had volunteers come to my house to assemble and sand the wooden base. The students were able to plant succulents that they learned about from previous lessons. I unravelled potting soil for them to feel between their own hands and had them each have their own plant. From exploring the different nurseries and national parks, I know the feeling of ownership. It instills a responsibility for a new generation of life. I hope that my project has budded in them the value of the natural world. As climate change begins to be considered with more weight, I hope that they become advocates for cleaner policy as they grow older and when they look back on their childhood, they can say they had an eye opening experience as well.

Through Girl Scouts, I developed the leadership skills and resources to solidify my passion for the environment and community service. This past year, I designed an environmental science curriculum to promote sustainability and exposure to the natural world. Through the activities in my curriculum and a hanging garden, I observed the student’s comprehension and how a physical connection to their surroundings has sparked interest in conservation. I began distributing my curriculum to multiple centers who will plant the seed of appreciation in the minds of their students.

Through Project Go Green, I learned that change for better is possible- starting with me and the resilience to achieve my goals. The people I have met and the lessons I have learned have made this an invaluable experience. I developed a stronger sense of self and real world problem solving skills that will help in my future endeavors. I am proud to have encouraged my community to join me in taking action. Project Go Green has given me the opportunity to create an impact that is long lasting. I have grown in this new ecological chapter to be more conscious of my waste and also share my knowledge with those around me. I am now volunteering at the greenhouse on my college campus and I plan to reach out to my community and high school as I continue to learn about other sustainability projects.
· Date: December 31, 2018 · Views: 5793 · File size: 19.7kb, 3565.7kb · : 3024 x 4032 ·
Hours Volunteered: 100
Volunteers: 15
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18
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