Thurston Ecology Club Makes a Difference

Thurston Middle School teacher and Ecology Club advisor Penny Dressler with one of the club’s projects, a retooled recycling receptacle.

Travel the campus at Thurston Middle School and it is apparent that protecting the environment is a lesson modeled for students and staff throughout the campus. Green recycle bins are available at various locations. Gardens planted with a variety of native, succulents dot the landscape. A colorful recyclable container with the reminder to “Love Your Planet” is on site for bottle and can collection.

The student-painted recyclable container, new plantings and shade tree are the contributions of the school’s Ecology Club. The club began two years ago when students Charlotte Andrews and Briana Boyd asked Thurston teacher Penny Dressler to assist them in starting a school club, which would help teach the school community about the significance of protecting the environment.

Throughout the school year, Ecology Club students participated in fundraisers to help pay for plants and equipment to further their goals. In addition to planting the gardens, the Ecology Club helped with trash collection, recycling and participating with ZeroTrash Laguna’s monthly pick-ups.

“Our Ecology Club provides our Thurston community with shining examples on recycling and our environment. We are so grateful for their leadership skills and their ability to model good eco-friendly behaviors around our campus,” said Principal Jenny Salberg.

Advisor Dressler is looking forward to working with this year’s club members as they incorporate everyday acts of “thinking green” into their daily school activities. “I profoundly believe that when we tend to and heal the Earth, we tend and heal ourselves. The Ecology Club strives to do that in a multitude of small ways.”




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