Enhancing Natural Spaces
7th grade service learning students celebrated Earth Day the best way possible—by finding ways to rehabilitate the great outdoors.
Before jumping into the project, they first listened to the story “One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia” by Miranda Paul. The story highlights how one African woman began a movement for recycling plastic bags that were polluting her community. After listening to the story, the 7th grade students took some time to consider the similarities between the story and their own community. They listed their responsibilities to nurture natural spaces, identified issues in those spaces, and discussed with their family members what they could do to improve them.
Throughout the week, 7th graders got busy improving outdoor spaces they identified as needing help. Kate said she was able to improve both her yard and her neighbors’ yards through pulling weeds, planting flowers and seeds, and raking leaves. “It put a smile on my face and their faces. I thought it was really fun to garden and brighten up their day, and I definitely want to do it again.”
Simon collected trash around his neighborhood with some help from his mom and brother. Claire planted flowers in her front yard. Solomon got his whole family involved with picking up trash from their street and sweeping up elm seeds. After cleaning up a particularly bad corner on their street, they left a finishing touch: heart-shaped rock formations.