Caddo Magnet’s Greens Club was founded several years ago by retired biology teacher, Mrs. Ruby Blackwell. Students interested in sustainability were involved in a variety of activities, from taking field trips to Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center to supporting local conservation and wildlife preservation projects in conjunction with Caddo Parish’s Walter B. Jacobs Park. In 2013, Greens Club received a generous grant from a regional International Paper to greatly expand our school’s recycling efforts and minimize landfill waste. Since then, we have facilitated the school’s recycling and landscaping, and our club continues to grow every year. We meet on 1st club rotation in E-206 and dues are $10. Greens Club is Project Green Schools chapter, and students must pay their fees and earn at least 20 environmental service projects each year in order to remain a member of good standing. Most of our members will easily earn well over that amount of service hours within one semester.
Greens Club has increasingly become more engaged with the local community. In the past we’ve worked with at the Valencia Center with their community garden. We currently volunteer at the Martha Street Garden across the street from Magnet a few times a month, helping them grow produce for the surrounding neighborhood. Every year we participate in the Red River Cleanup, Shreveport’s largest trash cleanup day. We are also active in taking care of the Coates Bluff Nature Trail behind the school, cleaning up trash and creating interactive and interdisciplinary plant labels for trail tours.
We continue to initiate environmentally-focused traditions at Magnet. In April 2018, we started Earth Fest, which is an after-school party around Earth Day aimed at creating interest in environmentalism and spreading information. We also started collecting Mardi Gras beads the week after Mardi Gras and giving them back to krewes to reuse in next years’ parades. We encourage our members as well as every student at Magnet to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, reducing their waste and carbon footprints. On this website you can find tips on living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Remember, the best way to change the world is to change yourself first! As our dedicated principal Michael Ilgenfritz reminds us, we need to “walk the walk” and inspire others to do the same.
In 2017, our Greens Club became part of the Project Green Schools network. Our current president, Sarah Salvatore, serves on the Project Green Schools National Youth Council. Ms. Salvatore was invited to discuss the projects we do at Greens Club at the 2nd NYC Green School Conference on September 24, 2018, as part of Climate Week NYC, sponsored by The Climate Group and the United Nations. As part of our presentation at Climate Week NYC, we debuted a new web site so that we could better educate and inspire others about making sustainable choices and to discuss what we learned and who we met at ClimateWeek NYC. Here’s the direct link to our new site: http://bit.ly/2Pz9NLZ. Plus, you can follow us on Instagram: @magnetgreens.
Featured left from right: Leah Sullivan, Gus Demerath, Sophie Wiener, Diya Desai, Sarah Salvatore, and Kassidy Adams Not pictured: Savannah Green