Brentwood Exercises Environmental Advocacy
Environmental Advocacy is an immersive class offered at Brentwood on Arts afternoons. As this course was newly established this year by Mr Ganley, there are lots of opportunities and excitement for the future of this class.
Students use creative media to inform, motivate, and activate the Brentwood community to improve the natural world. Topics include climate, and alternative energy sources, products and habits examined through political, economic, technical, and psychological lenses. Students also have the opportunity to initiate and work on individual projects that will impact the Brentwood community environmentally such as recycling and waste management, proposing electric outboards for rowing coach boats, hosting a Brentwood thrift store, planting a school garden, researching environmental speakers for Careers Day, proposing electric vehicles for the school fleet, delivering a seminar on climate anxiety at the Wellness Conference, examining how we can produce less microplastic, and even promoting a low-carbon season of gift giving.
“I am in Environmental Advocacy because I want to help make a difference and improve Brentwood environmentally. I have been lucky enough to call Brentwood my home for the past year and I want to do what I can to make this wonderful place more eco-friendly. I was raised to appreciate and love my planet, and seeing how damaged it has become over the years is heartbreaking. Whether it’s starting a Food Committee to help reduce waste or making posters about how to recycle and compost, I want to help educate others to help our planet” enthused Sarah O, Hope ‘23.
The students of Environmental Advocacy also have many opportunities to experience hands-on learning. On October 19, Mr. Ganley, BFA Ms Miller (with a BEd in Environmental Education) and their students trekked to Cobble Hill and visited alumna Robin McDaniel’s organic farm. There, the students had the opportunity to take in the sustainable farm lifestyle and learn about the importance that growing and eating seasonally has for one’s health and the environment. Robin and her husband Caleb also talked about how they transformed the property by using the condition of the soil to their advantage and building a passive solar home. And the students left with loads of fresh, organic tomatoes, apples, and kale.
The class also had the opportunity to visit the salmon enhancement facility just north of the Foote Centre to watch the seasonal salmon return to lay eggs and learn the process of salmon reproduction. “I really enjoy this class because it has given me the resources and opportunities to explore environmental issues and topics at Brentwood that I am passionate about and to be a platform to advocate for them” Sophie H, Mack ‘23 shares.
It is eye-opening to see high school students so passionate and hardworking about the environment and to see the immense effort put into their individual projects is amazing.
Deborah Z, Alex ‘23