Our Students, Our Schools, and Our Environmental Future

Posted on July 7, 2024

Jennifer Stull, President of Keep Martin Beautiful

It’s never too early to learn about our connection to the environment and our responsibility to care for it, and education is key.

As this year’s President of Keep Martin Beautiful, it’s been gratifying to see that my belief is widely shared in our community. Our children, their families, their teachers, and their schools are showing the kind of passion for environmental stewardship that makes me feel hopeful for the future.

During Keep Martin Beautiful’s Environmental Stewardship Awards event in April, more than 220 attendees had an opportunity to hear about the school projects that were nominated for their excellence in protecting and preserving the environment. Even better, we got to meet many of the students and teachers involved in these activities and I wanted to share some highlights with you. 

Jensen Beach Elementary, Eco-Action Team

At Jensen Beach Elementary, the Eco-Action Team meets three times a week to work on environmental initiatives. During their Community Service Day, students gave out succulent plants to the patients. The Eco-Action Team partners with Citizens4H20 to recycle plastic bags and offer reusable shopping bags as part of their Single Use Plastics initiative and their Litter Lite Lunches efforts. For their many green initiatives and positive impact on the community, the JBE Eco-Action team earned the National Wildlife Federations’ Green Fla Eco-School Award and also Keep Martin Beautiful’s Youth Engagement Stewardship Award.

J.D. Parker, Green Club

At J.D. Parker Elementary, the Green Club participates in Keep Martin Beautiful’s International Coastal Cleanup and Adopt-A-Road program. They’re very attentive to recycling and partner with TerraCycle to recycle chip bags and other items that can’t be recycled in single stream recycling. And they share the harvest from their school garden with the entire school community.

Stuart Middle, Use and Consequence Card Sort Poster

The students at Stuart Middle School are studying the impact humans have on the environment. They’ve learned about the effects of deforestation, urbanization, desertification, erosion, and changes in air and water quality. Their Use and Consequence Card Sort Poster fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills for understanding the interconnected nature of human activities and their effects on Earth's systems.

Earth Savers

The Earth Savers program offers high school students a great opportunity to gain volunteer hours while engaging with the Environmental Studies Center. With a current membership of over 30 students from freshmen to seniors, the Earth Savers Crew participates in beach cleanups, assists the Environmental Studies Center with its community outreach programs, and manages the Youth Driven Cinema Film Competition hosted at the Center.

Pine School, Manatee Skeleton

The Pine School’s Honors Class for Florida Environmental Studies took on an unusual project: learn more about the history and science of ecosystems by isolating the bones from a manatee carcass and articulating a skeleton – meaning they reassembled it using wires, hardware, and other materials. This kind of hands-on, interactive, intricate science gives students a rich and memorable learning experience.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the students in these groups. And KUDOS to all the teachers who guide and inspire our students and provide them with a learning environment that enriches their experiences and cultivates the next generation of environmental stewards.

For more information about Keep Martin Beautiful and to read more about these youth groups and all the 2024 Keep Martin Beautiful Environmental Stewardship nominees, visit keepmartinbeautiful.org.


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