Thursday, April 22, 2010

Environmental Activism at Olympus Jr High Built a Park

I was sent a link to a policy paper (I think that's the right term) from Sutherland Institute about environmental activism in Utah's schools. You can read the paper here.

I read through most of it, and found several things wrong. However, I'm not an environmental expert, so I'll leave that to real environmental experts.

However, I do want to share a tale about some environmental activism that took place when I was a student at Olympus Jr High in the early 1990's. (Am I really that old?)

My eighth grade science teacher (Ms Augustyn, if memory serves me correctly) disliked the fact that school lunches were served on Styrofoam trays. So, she educated her students on the environmental impacts of Styrofoam. That lead to a petition drive that captured the attention of some of the local media, and got Granite School District to change to trays made of recycled cardboard throughout the district.

Not only that, but it also laid the groundwork the following fall for the Olympus Jr High Environmental Club.

And that year, we got the year started off right with a paper recycling program. Then, one of our members heard that an intersection near the school was going to be realigned. In realigning the streets, they were going to tear out some pioneer-era trees. So, a new petition was circulated at the school, and the response from the road people was that they didn't really care what a bunch of Jr High kids thought. So, we spent a couple of Saturdays out talking to neighbors about the trees, getting them to sign our petition.

Well, They relented, moved the road to run on the east side of the trees (vs the west side where it previously ran). They also decided that the area around the trees would become a park.

And, that is the story of Olympus Pines Park. It all started with an activist teacher.

The bush to the right of the sign is one of the few plants we planted that day that has survived the past 16 years. I planted that bush.


1 comment:

JHP said...

What is wrong with the paper? I'm interested to know what you think.