This piece was written by junior Tara Brugh.
University’s new environmental club, the Eco-Blazers, started up at the beginning of second semester and has already received a $1,000 grant from Carmel Green Teen. Junior Emma Troughton and senior Elizabeth Orians headed the writing of the grant, while Troughton and sophomore Maddie Smith presented their proposal to the grant team later that week. The board they presented to was comprised of mostly high school students and two adults. Prior to Troughton and Orians’s writing of the grant, Renee Williams, mother of sophomore Noah Williams, came in to talk to the Eco-Blazers and gave helpful tips on how to write grants.
Although the Eco-Blazers received a $1,000 grant, they actually only asked for approximately $950 and were excited that they were rewarded with extra money. They plan to put a portion of the money they received towards implementing a composting system at University that will include vermicompost (worm compost), hot compost, and cold compost. As part of the composting system, the Eco-Blazers will buy a tumbler, which rotates the compost so the soil breaks down more quickly. With the money it has received, the club also intends to build a structure that will serve as a water-harvester to collect rainwater for the garden. The structure would also double as a shelter for an outdoor classroom. The remaining money will go towards getting guest speakers for meetings and decals to put around the school to raise awareness.
The Eco-Blazers have big plans for the school in the next couple of weeks. They will start by collecting all the trash bins, placing decals that say, “This trash goes to a landfill. Please think twice” on the bins, and redistributing the bins in different, more suitable locations. At the meeting last Wednesday, the members of the club focused on upcoming garden expansion. The Hamilton County Master Gardener Association and the UHS Parent Association graciously donated an energy efficient grow light stand to the Eco-Blazers so they could begin their plant growth inside while they wait for the weather to warm up. The plants will eventually be moved outside once the weather is suitable and the ground has thawed. Marigolds, kale, peppers, and cilantro were among the things planted and currently growing in the biology room.
One of the main goals for the Eco-Blazers is to begin a school-wide green movement at UHS. The club meets Wednesdays at lunch and invites all who are interested in helping guide the green movement at University.