Registered: November 2007
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This year while I was at the National FFA convention, I had the opportunity to do community service as a part of being a Washington State Delegate. Two days before the convention started, all of the State delegates had the opportunity to participate in the Day of Service at different location in Indianapolis, Indiana. The group that I was in did restoration of the grounds at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Part of the day was spent planting daffodil bulbs and hostas to re-create when the property was owned by Eli Lilly and the Lilly family. The majority of the people-power used during the day, however, was for honeysuckle control in woods nearby.
The honeysuckle was introduced to the area, and has begun to take over the woods. We were specifically dealing with the bush honeysuckle, although there was also a small amount of climbing honeysuckle. Our job was to spot the honeysuckle and cut the bushes, or in some cases sticks, down, and another delegate would drag the cut pieces down to a collection pile at the bottom of the hill. The adults that we were working with would then spray the stumps with a small amount of a chemical to prevent the re-growth of the plant.
I thought that caring for these woods is important because this is the native habitat for many animals, and many animals have been displaced since building Indianapolis. I feel that the maintenance of this habitat in the middle of a city is especially important, for the health of the remaining animals, the health of the city, and for the health of all of the people. Even small oases like these are beneficial to all tings living around them.
After completing this project, I feel that the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative is a wonderful project for young people to be doing. If more students, especially those who are at-risk individuals, can do community service and improve the environment, both the earth and the students can and will benefit. Even though I did not plan the project that I did, I was proud to have been part of it, and would encourage others to engage in similar projects.