West Linn High School’s Green Team supports local environment and community

Although they aren’t single-handedly stopping global warming or rescuing the last of Oregon’s Northern Spotted Owl population, the Green Team is doing everything it can to save the environment. The team has a real cause, and is devoted to fulfilling it.

“It’s a club dedicated to local habitat restoration as well as spreading environmental awareness throughout the school,” Jessica Hodgen, senior, and one of the leaders of the club, said.

The Green Team members acknowledge they haven’t done anything Earth-shattering yet, but they are more focused on doing the simple projects that can add up to a larger whole. Recently, the Team traveled to the Oregon Coast to pick up trash along the beach. They recorded the types of trash and reported to SOLVE, a non-profit organization focused on bettering Oregon’s environment, and sorted the litter so that some could be recycled. Other than providing recycled material, and improving the beach atmosphere, this project also aided the local animal life.

“[Cleaning up litter] helps prevent animals from eating the different plastics,” Hodgen said, “which is one of the leading causes of death for seabirds.”

Once a month, the club adopts a project similar to the beach clean-up. Hodgen and the team have also participated in a planting day, where members worked to replenish local habitats by planting trees. This month they are fighting invasive species by pulling English ivy and restoring trails at Mary S. Young Park. The team is also contributing all of its service hours to West Linn High School’s sparrow, Benny. For each hour the team serves the community, a sponsor will donate $10 to help support Benny’s family.

The latest edition of the Green Team began at West Linn three years ago and has expanded since then. The group now garners about 20 members, and meets every other Monday. Hodgen joined in its first year, and now, as a senior member, couldn’t speak more highly of the group.

“We’re benefitting the community by making it cleaner, and we’re also building a community because we are getting different people involved—not just from the school,” Hodgen said.

To students who are looking to help the environment, service the community, support Benny, meet new people, or even just add another club to their college applications Hodgen would recommend the Green Team. To join, talk to one of the senior leaders Jessica Hodgen, Meg Beckett, or Taylor Harding, or contact the club’s adviser Jim Hartmann at [email protected]