Blog post written by 2023 Energy Intern, Vida Sulureh
Environmental Volunteer Day, hosted on November 1st, 2023 at Gaithersburg High School was an amazing learning experience open to all MCPS High School students. While at the event, students were given the opportunity to meet professionals in the field (including staff from the Department Of Environmental Protection) and plant native plants and trees at the site.
The field trip was created by Jennifer Strouble, the Outside of School Time Coordinator of MCPS. Her goal was to create an event where students would use their day off to make a positive impact on the environment. With a huge turnout of over 200 students and 20 mentors, her vision came to play. Upon arrival, all participants were welcomed with breakfast, as well as on site registration if needed. With guidance, the students then planted throughout the day and their service was very valued.
As an intern at the Department of Environmental Protection, when I first heard of the field trip a few weeks prior, I knew I wanted to take action in a different way. Both during the morning sign up and lunch, my table was set up displaying general information about DEP, including the career opportunities from different fields that were being done there. While talking with various students and volunteers, I was to share DEP’s mission and help students understand the importance and variety they have while working towards environmental protection. I also passed out treats such as pens, pencils made out of dollar bills, lightbulb pencil sharpeners, candy, and backpacks to the students as well.
Overall, Environmental Volunteer Day proved to be outstanding. The hard work done by the students and volunteers was truly inspiring and left a lasting impression on Gaithersburg High School’s lot. It was amazing to see first hand how dedicated so many people were at taking initiative to help their environment.