Over 60 elementary students and 11 educators from 7 schools across the county gathered at Clark College on Thursday, March 30 for the Clark County Elementary Student Summit. Students participating in Green Teams throughout Clark County shared sustainability successes in their school, learned about natural sciences, and met with other local student leaders. Programs like these celebrate student leadership and innovation at schools across ESD 112. The theme for this year’s summit event was ‘Green Teams in Action’.
At the conclusion of the summit, students were asked to make a pledge to continue lasting change.The summit was coordinated by EarthGen, in partnership with Clark County Green Schools. Students gained experience with scientific activities like water quality sampling and air quality monitoring at the event. Students also made a pledge to continue lasting environmental change. EarthGen has been coordinating student summits for 12 years, since the founding of the organization.
“The most rewarding part is seeing the students light up when they share what their Green Teams have been working on,” said Cameron Foy, outreach coordinator at EarthGen. “It was inspiring to hear what they have accomplished and how they are impacting their community.”
Students in the Green Team at Hockinson Heights Elementary School (HHES) presented on the sustainability action projects in progress at their school during the summit. In 2022, the HHES Green Team was recognized by Clark County Green Schools as the first ever Clark County Green Team of the Year. In the 2022-23 school year, the Green Team at Hockinson Heights Elementary School is focusing on paper towel waste reduction efforts and educating families about the environmental impacts of idling car engines in school parking areas.
“One of the things that we’re most proud of is that the students have chosen the projects that we work on,” said HHES teacher and Green Team facilitator Nathan Tracey.
Participating schools included Lacamas Lake Elementary School (Camas,) Pleasant Valley Primary (Battle Ground), Illahee Elementary School (Evergreen,) Grass Valley Elementary School (Camas), Dorothy Fox Elementary School (Camas,) Hockinson Heights Elementary School (Hockinson,) and Columbia Valley Elementary School (Evergreen.)