After a recent discussion at FSM’s Environmental Education Committee meeting, science teacher, Steve Moe, and I decided to offer a new club to middle school students at FSM. Our goal is simple – to provide a time and place for kids that are interested in helping the environment to mobilize and take action by working together on several projects throughout the school year. We will meet monthly, and there is no fee to join.

This morning, at 7:30 am, ten sleepy middle schoolers made it a priority to be to school early for our first meeting. We started the meeting by discussing what the students wanted the club to look like while diving right into a project to prevent birds from hitting our school’s windows (something that has been happening this fall as birds migrate south).  The students sat around a table, tracing and cutting out silhouettes of sharp-shinned hawks to place on the windows around the school while we worked with them to brainstorm ideas for what we could do this year.

One of the ideas the group is thinking about tackling this year includes designing permanent signage for our school grounds to educate the public about some of our environmentally-friendly practices, plantings, and structures, such as rain gardens, native plantings, permeable pavers, compost, and recycling. Other ideas the group is interested in include providing a rain barrel workshop, making birdhouses and keeping bird feeders around our school stocked throughout the winter, planting trees, or coordinating a day of service at a state park in the spring.

Friends School of Minnesota's new environmental club made paper sharp shinned hawks for windows to keep birds from crashing into the glass.
Friends School of Minnesota’s new environmental club made paper sharp-shinned hawks for windows to keep birds from crashing into the glass.

With this motivated and thoughtful group of students, we are excited to move forward and get started on some of the projects.

Melissa Andersen, Humanities Teacher