Tip of the iceberg: Environmental Club starts planning Earth Day event with local environmental group

November 21, 2022


Zoe Clark

CALLING ALL GARDENERS Explaining future plans for the Environmental Club, Mr. Michael Bakker, science teacher, tells the club members about gardening opportunities. The club is trying to learn more about what they can do, so they spent their Nov. 10 meeting talking about importance of gardening. “We are going to talk to the botany class about using the greenhouse, and we want to clean up the courtyard outside of my classroom that has planting boxes,” Mr. Bakker said.

After covid put the club at a halt, the Environmental Club started up again at the end of last year. Once Ms. Hannah Fus, ASL teacher, decided to step down as club sponsor, Mr. Michael Bakker, science teacher, took her place at the end of last school year. In contrast to previous years, the club has been extremely active; their activities consist of visiting nature preserves, foraging for mushrooms in Bieker Woods and visiting Lincoln Park Zoo. 

“The club’s purpose is to make a difference through education, activism and activity,” Mr. Bakker said. “We want to focus on bringing environmental issues to the forefront of people’s minds in the hopes that activism will spread and policy will change.”

Environmental Club’s leadership team consists of junior Eden Cook,  sophomore Addy Ellis, as well as juniors Lily Hestjean, Nabeel Rabie and Benny Torres. Along with events surrounding nature, the club has held various clothing drives to help local families in need. So far this year, they collected 5,730 pounds of clothing which raised almost $700 for people from the community. Working with a local environmental group, the club is currently planning a station at an Earth Day event for children and their families. 

“My favorite part of the year has been our successful clothing drive which generated a lot of money for our causes,” Nabeel said. “I hope for us to contribute and better our community and ultimately make a change.”

Since Mr. Bakker is also assistant swim coach, the club will meet once a month until swim season is over instead of every Thursday. For the holidays, they are planning a party to recycle and revamp old items and celebrate their accomplishments. In the spring, the club hopes to tour the new biological sciences building at Purdue Northwest, visit the Shedd Aquarium to learn about fish pathology, go birdwatching and start a gardening group to fix up the courtyards.

“I hope the club accomplishes as much as possible to reduce negative impacts on the earth by spreading awareness and hosting events that promote conservation,” Lily said. “There are so many environmental issues for us to highlight, along with many small lifestyle changes to better the Earth that I hope we can tell people about.”

I hope for us to contribute and better our community. We are planning to do gardening around the community in school.

— Nabeel Rabie

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