APES students serve the environment and community

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One of MA’s most popular science classes, AP Environmental Science (APES) provides students with many opportunities to help their communities. From habitat restoration to beach cleanups, students across campus are making a difference in the environment.

Finding service opportunities may seem difficult, but it’s actually quite easy. APES teacher Erica Woll said, “Grassroots Ecology typically hosts a number of events with restoration and conservation themes.” The Grassroots Ecology organization has an accessible website where students can view a calendar of local environmental service opportunities in which they can participate.

“Many of the service opportunities are in East Palo Alto, so they are local and easy for students to get to,” Woll explained.

Participating in environmental service allows students to escape the artificial suburban life and step into wetlands where they can reconnect with nature. “We hope that students will feel a little more connected to a natural part of their community,” Wohl said.

Senior Ben Timm visited San Francisco Creek to help with habitat restoration. “It was fun cleaning up the polluted streams,” he said. “It was nice to be able to help the community.”

In addition to cleanup and restoration projects, students can also help the environment by educating others. Junior Sheila Carneiro performed environmental service through Canopy, which connects high school and elementary school students and educates them about the environment.

“I volunteered at schools in Belle Haven and Los Robles, teaching third graders about tree care,” she said. Carneiro’s experience is a great example of environmental service that directly impacts our community by connecting with young students and inspiring an interest in environmental support.

Many APES students participate in environmental service as part of their curriculum, but any student can participate in local ecological efforts. There are many organizations that are easy to navigate and help students get involved.

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