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Marissa DePalmas garden

Marissa DePalma

Marissa DePalma’s garden

Community Club plans to make LHS green in 2021-2022

Are you looking for a club to join? Want to participate in fun activities that also promote a healthy environment? Join the Community Club!

The club is excited for new members to get involved. This club was created in fall 2020, but because of virtual school, there were no club fair sign up opportunities.

Juniors Marissa DePalma, Paige Kapeluch, and Catherine Bowers came up with this club because they wanted to have a club specifically devoted to concerns about pollution on a local level.  They began as a group of friends and expanded to include others who are interested.

In 2020-2021, there were seven members: Marissa DePalma, Catherine Bowers, Brayden Gregory, Paige Kapeluch, Hannah Morin, Anna Quackenbush, and the advisor is Mrs. Angela Smith.

Smith is DePalma’s PREP teacher and volunteered to sponsor the club.

“My hope is that we will be able to unite students who have a concern for the environment and provide them with an outlet through which they can be educated on how to make changes throughout their own lives and can participate in group service in order to help improve the environment,” Quackenbush said.

This club should influence people to not only help improve the environment while at school, but also in their personal lives.

Quackenbush has some ideas for next year, including school composting, community planting, and a reusable water bottle or grocery bag fundraiser, as well as providing speakers and information that club members can take to decrease their carbon footprint or negative impact on the environment.

The club will be making posters around the school and posting on social media so students can get information about events the club is doing or just tips we share on this matter. You can follow this club on Twitter @lhscommunitycl1 and on Instagram @lhscommunityclub for more information and updates on current events. 

The club plans on gaining many more students in 2022 

“Some ideas I have is to adopt a road and plant different flowers or trees around the school and community,” community club vice president Bowers said.

Catherine Bowers at Baker Park with the community club picking up trash. (Marissa Depalma)

Planting flowers and trees don’t only look beautiful, they also clean the air. Burning fossil fuels from cars, industry and other human activity is the largest contributor to adding CO2 into the air, creating more greenhouse gasses.. This increases the earth’s temperature. It’s called global warming. Trees and plants use CO2 and release oxygen. This decreases the amount of carbon dioxide

“I would like to see the club make changes at Linganore to reduce our impact and educate individuals on choices they can make that will help stop the deterioration of our Earth,” Morin said.

Getting students more involved and informed is a big part of the community club’s goal. Community club hopes to become a certified Green School by the end of next year, 2022. This includes composting and producing as little waste as possible by the school as a whole.

Before the pandemic, wasted paper at LHS was a big problem, as it is at many schools.  “I think Linganore uses way too much paper. By the end of the school year I have a backpack full of worksheets to throw out. Imagine how much paper the whole school is throwing away combined,” president of the community club, DePalma said. 

A typical school uses about 360,000 sheets of paper in one school year! That’s a whole lot of trash. 

“I believe Linganore will cooperate with this club’s plans on going green because this has been a movement throughout other schools in our county as well,” Quackenbush says. “It is our school’s job to take responsibility for its environmental impact and make changes where they may be beneficial.”

Urbana High School  went green with a composting program in 2019. Their goal was to eliminate 50% of the trash produced by the school. Many students participate and have reduced the amount of trash in the landfill. A little goes a long way over time.

“Not every student will care about what our club does, but If students are willing to take two extra minutes from their day to put extra food into bins to help improve the environment then I think Linganore can go green,” Bowers said. 

Fill out this google form if you are interesting in the club or have any suggestions.

“I decided to join because my best friend and I wanted to learn more about the environment and how we could lessen our impact,” Morin said. “Then, we found the community club and decided to join and bring our ideas to the table.”

The community club encourages anyone that is interested to join. Even if it’s only for the community service hours, you will be doing our community a favor. Give it a try, you might learn something and use it in your everyday life.

Brayden Gregory participating in a trash clean up at Baker Park. (Marissa Depalma)

“Outside of school, I have started learning how to compost, the rules of recycling, and reducing meat intake all to help the environment,” Morin said.

Making the environment cleaner can be a fun hobby at home. It can start as just a compost bin and then turn into a backyard garden by using the compost you made.

“At my house, we try to recycle and compost anything that we can,” Quackenbush said. “I make sure not to litter, waste water or energy, and my family likes to garden and grow some of our own vegetables.”

Take a step towards a cleaner environment. There are many activities and small things you can do throughout your day that make a big difference.

“This year I have started to garden and it feels amazing to grow all sorts of vegetables using your own compost. Its a very fun and rewarding hobby that I really enjoy that also benefits the environment,” DePalma said.

Community club has many ideas for next year and can not wait to go through with them!

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