Gull Lake senior and plant life aficionado, Ethan Liggett is making a push to start a statewide organization of environmental clubs.
“I want to create a statewide ‘union’ of high school environmental clubs,” Liggett said. “I think it’s really important to be able to band together and help fight environmental problems.”
Initially, Liggett said his goal seemed lofty. The likelihood of a long term organization where constant communication between multiple schools seemed as if it couldn’t happen. However, Liggett said he determined to make it work.
Gull Lake’s very own Environmental Club has 40 members and usually the same 20 show up to the meetings.
Creating a district wide garden on our campus was the one goal the club had when it first started a few years ago. Last year and through this year the club’s priority was to complete the school’s garden and reform it. The year isn’t over, and the project is still in the works. As Liggett found out, this is a problem among other schools as well, like Mattawan.
“I decided to do this because at the Student Senate regional conference I was speaking with some of the students at Mattawan about our environmental club,” he said. “They said that their club was struggling to be able to finish simple projects and needed help doing so.”
[pullquote]“This gave me the idea of multiple schools working together so we are all on the same page and helping the environment,” Liggett concluded.[/pullquote]
According to Liggett, the state of Michigan has a curriculum based environmental club that unites schools statewide called Michigan Green Schools.
Liggett feels there’s a better approach to creating one large association.
“I don’t want to focus on the curriculum of environmental issues because you can just take classes for that,” said Liggett, refuting the curriculum based organization. “I want to deal with real problems in our communities and work together.”
A few years ago when the Gull Lake Environmental Club was started, they wanted to make a difference in the community and surrounding environment. Now, in Liggett’s senior year, he wants to make this happen before graduation.
One of the goals he’s begun is a greenhouse in the back room of high school science teacher, Beth Rhodes. Here, he keeps sprouts and pots of plants like tomato, cucumber basil, kale, dill, thyme, rosemary, bell pepper, wheatgrass and lavender.
Liggett also takes care of some of Rhodes’ plants. Every other day he comes into the classroom to water plants and care for them.
“This is just a start up though,” said Liggett. “I have a lot more plans in the works.”