Evergreen Group Helps Keep Dunckel Green
A student group at the Farmington Hills middle school oversees many environmental projects.
Tiger, penguin, panda, gorilla, lemur, or bald eagle - which one would you want to help? The question being asked by a quartet of volunteers working the concession stand at an O.E. Dunckel Middle School basketball game.
This isn't any ordinary group of volunteers; they are members of the Dunckel Michigan Green School Committee, also known as Evergreen. Evergreen gives each
customer one vote for every dollar they spend on concessions. Concessions and animal rescue is just one activity of a very busy, very ecologically minded group of students and parents.
From paper recycling and Earth Day events, to planting a native garden on campus, these students and their parent mentor, Marilyn Rollinger, have made many positive changes in the year-and-a-half since Evergreen was founded.
Teacher Steve Koponen offers a special focus class for Evergreen participants. Students spend time tearing paper out of books so the paper can be recycled; this cuts down on waste as only the book cover is thrown away. The special focus class is coming up with new and creative ways to teach fellow students the importance of recycling, as well as what materials are suitable for reuse. If that isn't enough, they also coordinate the electronics and ink cartridge recycling program, which can earn money for the school to help fund their work.
The Evergreen group was originally called WE – Wildcats for the Environment. This
changed in March of 2010, when Dunckel's application to Michigan Green Schools resulted in the school being given Evergreen status, the highest ranking available. Michigan Green Schools is a non-profit organization that supports and encourages schools in achieving environmental goals, from protecting Michigan's environment and animals, to teaching educational stewardship.
The school will apply for recertification with Michigan Green Schools in March. Students involved in Evergreen will assist in completing the application. Earth Day events are in the works for April and later in the year they hope to expand recycling to outdoor events like soccer and football.
With so many positive changes taking place, I can't wait to see what project they take on next.