Masconomet Environmental Club Growing and Expanding its Reach
Posted by Katie Bernard on 2/15/2020
Original post on Ipswich River Watershed Association: https://www.ipswichriver.org/02/03/masconomet-environmental-club-growing-and-expanding-its-reach/
The Masconomet High School Environmental Club has been hard at work this school year implementing new initiatives and expanding its reach to make a greater impact on the community. Club leaders worked in conjunction with the Green Team, a group of school and community stakeholders, to successfully integrate composting into the Masconomet cafeteria in the fall. The group had been diligently planning for the project during the prior year and worked over the summer on the peer education piece. Environmental club members spoke to many different groups of students, created a video explaining the sorting process, and regularly monitor the composting bins during lunch times to ensure students and faculty are using the composting barrels correctly. The composting roll-out has been a great success and has accounted for about 1,200 less pounds of trash each month. The group continues to get the word out to their peers not only about the importance of composting, but how to reduce one’s carbon footprint in general, through regular segments on the school’s video morning update, bulletin boards in the hallways, and the group’s own Instagram site. The outreach seems to be working as membership in the environmental club has surged this year with over 50 members. Masconomet Middle School has also started up its own environmental club this year for 7th and 8th graders, and has had a great start! The middle school club is currently working on raising money to help with the Australian wildfires.
Masco’s Environmental Club also works to make a difference in the local community and beyond. In October, club members joined the Ipswich River Watershed Association to clean up river landings in Middleton and Topsfield, picking up bags and bags of litter and sorting plastic to contribute to Nathan Gray’s ecobrick project. The club also spearheaded a project of their own to make a difference beyond their local community. They collected old mascara brushes to clean oil and fleas out of animals during the month of November, which they donated to the One Tail at a Time organization. In late January, the club met with representatives from Climate Cafe, a local young activist group fostering environmental awareness, to learn about how to get more involved in this movement and connect with area high school environmental clubs. Members look forward to becoming more active in helping lead community discussions about environmental issues.
The Masco Environmental Club has a lot of upcoming events and initiatives in the works for this spring. They are working with the IRWA to help clean up and serve as River Wardens for Fish Brook, a tributary of the Ipswich River near the high school, which is one of the most polluted areas of the river. Members are also looking forward to a river paddle event with the generous loan of canoes and kayaks from IRWA. They will continue nature dog walks when the weather warms, which they enjoyed in the fall. The club will also host its annual environmental movie screening, which will be held at the Masconomet auditorium on April 2nd. They have secured a dynamic speaker and expert on the reuse movement, Alex Eaves, who is the director of the documentary REUSE! Because You Can’t Recycle The Planet, which they will be screening. Before the screening, attendees are invited to tour Alex’s 17-foot box truck, which he has converted into a 98-square-foot tiny house and mobile reuse education center. This box truck provides another way for people to see the benefits of reusing and how they can reduce waste in their own lives.
Another project in the works is a short documentary on Fish Brook, exploring its unique history, ecology, and the importance of keeping this area clean. Environmental Club officer Katie Bernard and member Marion Duval are planning on filming and producing the film over the summer. The Masco Environmental Club has a lot of great energy with its active member base and is looking forward to a productive 2020!