The SHS Environmental Club has proven its success in only its first year at the high school. Led by SHS science teacher Juvelyn Hartweg and co-presidents Gabby Walsh and Patrick Sullivan, the club’s members are passionate about environmentalism and doing their part to prevent climate change, even if it’s on a smaller local scale.
The club’s most successful event this year was a clothing drive. Hartweg came up with this idea from past experiences, saying how she “had worked with the organization before and [they] did really well.” Walsh said they “collected spare clothes, linens, toys, shoes, etc., from members of the town and donated them to Savers, a thrift store in Hanover, MA, in an effort to reduce landfill waste.” The club exceeded their original goal of 600 donations, and the number of clothes they received surpassed around 4,000 pounds.
Scituate is home to many beaches, and after a summer of beach days, trash is often found dispersed along the shoreline. Earlier in the school year, members of the Environmental Club successfully held a beach clean-up at Egypt Beach. The club had a turnout of about 15 students, who all wore masks and practiced social distancing. Moving forward, club members would like to clean additional beaches on the South Shore.
Co-President Patrick Sullivan said, “Being in the Environmental Club has been different than any other of my club experiences.” He mentioned that Ms. Hartweg regularly speaks to Dr. Maguire and other administrators, allowing club members “to have an idea-generating toll.” Students in the club also dedicate much of their time to making flyers and videos to increase publicity and exposure.
Always brainstorming events that can engage the whole community, the club will be cleaning the marshes along Kent Street from 9 AM-11 AM on Saturday, April 3rd. Trash bags and gloves will be provided, and COVID protocols–including masks and social distancing–will also be enforced.
Looking toward the spring semester, Sullivan mentioned the club has been considering the idea of “a farm-to-table project, including a garden run by students.” Hartweg hopes students can come and eat the food, including a pasta dish with fresh herbs from the garden. The members of the club will be making this meal with assistance from Ms. Hartweg.
The Environmental Club is looking for new members. Passionate about environmental issues, Hartweg hopes to double the current club’s numbers and welcomes anyone. Walsh shared a message to students: “All are welcome, and we would love to have you–even if you’re not able to attend all the meetings, we still would love to hear different voices and ideas. It really is a great–and easy–way to feel like you’re doing something good for the world.”