Sc3 keeps teaching conservation
Student visitors from all around the country and throughout the globe visited Shepherdstown this week to learn about environmental conservation and wild life, as part of the Green Schools Alliance’s Student Climate and Conservation Congress, (Sc3).
Hosted by the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), participating students are exposed to learning opportunities featuring experts in conservation and wild life services.
On Tuesday, the group of over 100 kids broke into small teams to work on service projects throughout the area visiting, both Cullison and Morgan’s Grove park, as well as Shepherdstown Elementary School.
Shepherdstown resident Daisy Levine, age 14, took part in the Sc3 program for the first time this summer and talked about her experience.
Like many of the students who come to the program for the first year, Levine said she had an interest in the subject matter but hoped to learn more.
“I’m really interested in science and conservation but I’m not as educated about it as I could be,” she said.
“I wanted to learn how I could influence the community,” she said.
Lucia Smith, a 16-year-old student from Washington, D.C. discussed the enthusiasm students in the program show.
“Each kid has their own really big idea. I’ve never met so many people passionate about actually changing the world,” she said.
During the service project Tuesday, Smith said her group worked together to come up with ideas to make even better use of the elementary school’s wildlife habitat garden.
“We’re trying to bring more animals into the ecosystem,” said.
“It’s not just us that live here,” she said.
She explained that one suggestion the group made for the extraction of weeds is to bring in goats to eat them.
Growing up in D.C., Smith said she’s witnessed the gridlock associated with metro politics, but thinks young empowered voices who organize can help facilitate change.
“As teeanagers, we can break down those barriers.” she said.
Shana Herman, an 18-year-old from outside of Philadelphia, returned this summer to Sc3 for her third year as a faculty assistant and facilitator.
Assisting with the Butterfly Garden Tuesday, Herman said the Sc3 program has changed the way she looks at the world.
“After attending the congress for the first year, I learned so much from the other students,” she said.
“When you leave you end up taking about away actual tangible plans.”
“We actually solutions and make change happen,” she said.
Herman said Sc3 has inspired her to pursue a career in environmental conservation.
“This program has meant the absolute world to me,” she said.
She plans to study environmental studies and possibly environmental law or policy next year at college.
Herman also commented on the program’s evolution over the years.
“I feel like the congress as a whole has grown tremendously,”
“It also depends every single year on the specific group of students who come to the congress.”
“It’s really interesting to see,” she said.
Levine, whose group did work at the park, said the experience opened her eyes to opportunities for improvement we can easily miss from day to day.
“I’ve been to Morgan’s Grove hundreds and hundreds of times, but for the first time, I looked at the stream.. We spent about two hours cleaning up the invasive species there,” she said.
All of the students take projects back to their own schools and community at the conclusion of their week with Sc3.
Levine said she hopes to come back after the program and help volunteer at the elementary schools gardens and wild life habitat project as well.
To find more information about the program, visit the Sc3 Alliance page at www.greenschoolalliance.org.