OHIO VALLEY — Last Friday, people around the world celebrated Earth Day.
Education about renewable resources and conservation were the day’s topics, and organizations found ways to make the Green movement impact people’s lives.
Celebrations often overlap with Arbor Day, an international event encouraging the planting of trees, or are extended into Earth Week, attempting to keep environmentalism in the public sphere for more than a day or two. Governments have united behind the date in recent years and mark the day with benchmarks of environmental policy or eco-friendly technological developments.
Last Friday, more than 100 nation states (including major climate impactors the United States and China) signed the Paris Accords, by far the most ambitious international climate protection treaty in history.
Student Council members at Southern High School found ways to participate at the community level, where observances are usually far more concrete. The entire 40-member Student Council turned out for beatification projects.
Senior Kalynn Seymour described how the students “dispersed all over Racine and got to work. We were covered in mud by the end of the day, it was pretty eventful.”
At planning meetings, the students took a variety of suggestions under consideration. Parental concerns over the state of the parking lot, community usage of the boat levy, and a desire to landscape the school’s front entrance all found their way onto the itinerary.
“We chose multiple projects because lining up 40 of us and marching through the parking lot wasn’t going to be a good use of resources,” Seymour said. “A lot of people use these areas — not just the students — and we wanted to make improvements to visible places. Our supervisors like Chad Dawson and Principal Otto really helped guide the effort, and clear some of the larger parts ahead of time.”
Sections of Yellowbush Road and the boat dock were also beautified.
The council is looking to make this an annual undertaking as the aesthetic effects were immediate.
“The timing worked out well,” Seymour said. “We had the opportunity to respond to parents’ requests, and our prom is tomorrow. It all aligned with Earth Day and we are trying to make our community just a little better. It was a bigger project once we got into things, but we saw a need and went for it.”