Across the county, students are becoming increasingly more involved in helping make Montgomery County become a more sustainable and environmentally conscious place to live. One such student organization, the MCR Environmental Task Force, a division of the county-wide student government association, is helping to do just that.
While only formed recently in 2020, they have multiple noteworthy accomplishments to take notice of. For one, they have pushed for water bottle refill stations in every MCPS school, believing that every little change matters. Featured in Bethesda Beat, the Task Force was able to renew discussion over water bottle refill stations county-wide with previous proposals being rebuked.
They have also created an entirely student-run Chesapeake Bay Series featured on YouTube. It is set to be a series of informational videos discussing the effects of waste and industry on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and the potential future effects that it will hold. The Task Force has also been able to test aquatic conditions all over the county and explore how various county policies contribute to local water health. While the Chesapeake Bay Series has multiple features of Peter Clagett, a U.S. geological surveyor, and Dr. Donald Boesch, a retired environmental science professor at UMD, the task force has even further expanded to hold their “Nature and Nurture Seminar” with an even larger variety of speakers.
Recorded here, it featured Dr. Bullock, an acclaimed author and research scientist, Ms. Coyne a certified psychologist, and Professor Nisbet, an Associate Professor at Trent University. This seminar was widely successful with 100+ RSVPs and educated many participants on the interesting mix of psychology and nature it presented.
The Task Force has also moved towards educating students about climate change at younger ages, especially those in Elementary School. In the recent 2021 Envirothon, they challenged children to create pieces of art, writing, and/or media discussing the effects of climate change. The Envirothon produced many fun and interesting pieces that you can see on their website.
Drawing done by Asha Schnieder showcasing the impact of litter for Envirothon 2021
Their website also includes a student-run blog highlighting small businesses, policy initiatives, and recent activities by the task force. Read more here.
To continue being as involved as they are, the MCR Task Force would appreciate any donations readers can provide. You can donate at their OSP page by writing in the description that you are donating to the Environmental Affairs Task Force or as a more fun option: purchase popcorn at Pop for a Cause using the code MCRENVIRO until February 7th, 2022. By spending $9 – $14.99 on popcorn, you will get a free pin made by the Task Force. If you spend $15 or more on popcorn, you will get a free handmade pin and hair clip.
It is amazing to see students so involved throughout their county and deeply committed to their cause. Feel free to stay up to date with their work through their website: https://mcrenvironmental.wixsite.com/mcrenviro.
Written by Melat Ghebreselassie