Students create Eagle Scout projects to better the environment

Juniors Rowan Hering and Amelia Stranges work on their Eagle Scout project.

Olivia O'Rourke, Staff Writer

A few students at Hayes have taken an interest in helping the city of Delaware improve the environment.
Juniors Rowan Hering and Amelia Stranges are both working towards becoming Eagle Scouts, the highest rank attainable in Scouts BSA. In order to do so, the two are working on projects with the goal of improving the environment, as well as their school and community.
Stranges is working to create a mini ecosystem right outside of Hayes.
“My project is basically a pocket forest, which is a lot of trees and shrubs and plants that are grown from sapling very close together, which kind of just helps the environment,” Stranges said. “It helps the biodiversity of everything, and it just will lead to a stronger ecosystem and environment.”
The forest will not only be beneficial to the soil and the environment, but will be accessible to classes, in hopes that students will be able to engage in more project based learning.
“I think it will set us apart from other schools, you know?” Stranges said. “How many schools have a little forest?”
What drew Stranges to the project was the fact that she has never seen anything like it.
“My mom showed me this cool little website thing she found. And I was like, ‘Wow, this looks like it’s something different,’” she said. “I think it’s unique.”
Another goal that Stranges has for the mini forest is that it will inspire other people in the community to plant one too. The more mini forests are planted, the more impact they can make on the environment.
“I love that we could be a leader in our community to have this way of helping our environment that anybody could do in their own backyard,” said Jane Kovatch, a Hayes science teacher who is assisting Stranges with the project.
Stranges also said that there is room in the project for other people who want to get involved.
“If anyone wants to help with it, we can always use help,” she said. “Through time, it will just be so wonderful.”
While Stranges works on her mini forest, Hering is working to help the environment in a different way.
“My project is to organize a collection drive for people to bring Styrofoam, so we can drive it to a place that recycles it, and hopefully encourage the county of Delaware to begin recycling Styrofoam,” Hering said.
The earth is plagued by the harmful materials that people use so often and their destructive effects. Simply recycling them can help keep harmful substances out of the oceans and off of the land, leading to less pollution everywhere.
Hering came up with the idea to hold a styrofoam drive just by taking a look around her own home.
“I was cleaning out my basement, and I found a lot of styrofoam down there,” she said. “And I thought that it might be a good idea for the city of Delaware to recycle it because we don’t yet, and there’s a lot of it out there.”
Hering said she wants people to be aware of the harmful effects of styrofoam and to hopefully work toward using less of it.
The drive will be held in the Hayes parking lot on March 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Stranges and Hering are showing their community that helping their world doesn’t have to be complicated. Planting some trees or recycling is a start.
“By taking just this little step, we can work towards cleaning up the earth,” Hering said.