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Edina High School’s Environmental Club Revamps Activity

courtesy of Project Earth

courtesy of Project Earth

Anna Gratzer, head staff writer

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Edina High School is home to a variety of different clubs that aid students in learning more about their interests and forming friendships. One of these clubs focuses on the environment, and is popularly known as Project Earth. Though the club grew inactive in the last few years, seniors Rozy Eastaugh and Molly Lepeska, who are leaders of the group, were inspired to help restart the club and help it play  a larger role in the community. As part of their revamp of the club this fall Eastaugh and Lepeska brought on new leadership in the form of senior Emma Hutson and juniors Joanna Kim and Gauri Madhok, who joined Project Earth this year due to their interest in environmental issues. All five members have been important leaders of the group this year.

The group holds 45 minute meetings each Monday after school in room 224 (Ms. Corcoran’s room). Although meetings are held at the high school, it’s common for adults from the Energy and Environment Commission come both to supervise and offer their expertise. Each meeting is different from the last and is centered around a previously set agenda. Some meetings are discussion-based and focus on such issues as climate change and its effects on today’s world, while others are action-based and related to specific projects and community activism.

The group’s current project is a Youth Climate Summit that will be held on Saturday, May 13 at the Edina Performing Arts Center. The club has planned workshops where students can be educated on ways to help the environment, the effects of climate change, and the steps our community is taking to combat global warming.

Next year, Project Earth plans to screen movies in EHS’s Fick Auditorium such as “The Lorax” as a fun way to educate students about climate issues. The club also hopes to revamp the school garden which has been inactive for some time and start a chemical free garden that uses only water and organic nutrients. Another idea they have had is to start a tree planting legacy program, where each graduating class plants a single tree. This would both help the environment and allow each class to leave something behind that they could return to and watch grow.

Club leader Kim likes how Project Earth unites like-minded people and stays away from politics. “They are all so fun and they are all really passionate about the same things as me,” she said about her fellow members. Although climate change has become politicized, Project Earth works to cut ties between politics and climate change.  “I know that everyone is intimidated by the word ‘climate change’ because of the political and social disputes about it, but I think we should not focus so much on the word and instead focus on the environment and how we’re ruining it,” said Kim.

To member Emma Hudson, environmental issues are so important that she hopes to focus on them beyond high school. Next year, when she attends Loyola University in Chicago, she plans on majoring in Environmental Studies. Other members agree that climate change is something that they will always be interested in even if they don’t pursue it in college.

For anyone interested in participating in Project Earth next year, Kim said it is easy to join and membership can be rewarding. “We have snacks so come and get snacks if you’re hungry. We’re really accepting and you’re welcome just to start coming to the meetings. There’s no application or anything, so just show up. If you are really, really passionate and want to have a leadership role next year, email me at [email protected] or Gauri [Madhok] at [email protected],” she said.

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Edina High School’s Environmental Club Revamps Activity