By Tia Vierling, Moscow High School Environmental Club Co-President
A group of determined, sleep-deprived high schoolers trek down Escobilla Beach in Mexico, following the light of a scientist’s flashlight ahead. Waves lap against the shore. Soon, the flashlight clicks off, and the students adjust to the light of the moon off the water, growing more excited. The scientists have seen something.
The high schoolers surround the scientists, watching the nesting olive ridley turtle lay her eggs, one by one. One student helps to gather the eggs, while the rest watch in awe. They’ve spent days scooping up newly hatched baby turtles to cart to the waterline; they’ve spent nights looking for eggs being laid so they can collect and re-bury them in a corral safe from poachers and predators alike.
It’s an experience the students will never forget, and it’s one that the Moscow High School Environmental Club organizes. Every year, the club sends a group of students who have fundraised and volunteered for more than 100 hours on the Turtle Trip, an expedition like no other.
Much of the club’s donations go toward Turtle Trip scholarships. And yet this monumental journey is not the only use of club funds. The Environmental Club’s mission is to inspire Moscow High School students to take action to improve their local, national, and international environments. We focus on everything from recycling to e-waste (electronic products) to resource use in the agricultural industry.
The Environmental Club also works to improve the environmental friendliness of Moscow High School. We meet every Thursday at lunch. Environmental Club members handle the school’s ink cartridge recycling, are working on a plan for a school-wide solar panel system, and team up with other clubs to collect the whole school’s paper and plastic recycling. The Environmental Club’s contributions are also seen in services ranging from the maintenance of Philip’s Farm to events at the Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute.
The funds raised from A Dime in Time will support the Phillip’s Farm Heirloom Orchard and will make it possible for one more student to take part in the Sea Turtle Conservation Project next year—an experience they will never forget.