by Steve Bert, Youth Intern
On Saturday, June 19, The Sierra Club announced its national
call to “Serve Outdoors.” Through its youth programs, the Sierra Club
will be calling on its members, volunteers, and staff to demonstrate outdoor
volunteerism and service on
High School for Environmental Studies hosted the kickoff event and became the first partner in this youth-led initiative that will engage students in environmental service projects nationwide. For their first task, the Manhattan based students aim to create a different resonation to the memory of September 11, by using 9/11 to kick-off an environmental service project that will benefit the city of New York.
“We’re all going to go through tragedy…It’s part of what it means to be human. It’s how we respond to tragedy that really defines who we are,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. Brune was one of over 40 representatives of the Sierra Club, Natural Leaders Network, faculty, staff and students of the School for Environmental Studies who convened at the high school’s rooftop garden for the launch of “Serve Outdoors” Saturday.
“I want to thank the Sierra Club for giving me a chance to be part of this historic moment,” said Junior Jessica Gutierrez, who spoke on behalf of the student body to celebrate the launch. “One little drop of help will drizzle into much more,” she said.
Serve Outdoors will generate, develop, and coordinate hands-on outdoor service projects on September 11, 2010, as a way to cultivate a powerful culture of volunteerism within the Millennial Generation.
Founded on excellence
Since the high school’s inception in 1992, as the first
themed high school in the nation to address urban environmental education, it
has become a hotbed for far-reaching environmental projects and programs. Freshman
take part in educational trips to
At the moment, four students are preparing for the Toshiba
Youth Conference in
“Youth are not the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today,” said Martin LeBlanc, Sierra Club’s Building Bridges to the Outdoors National Youth Education Director, who spoke at the high school Saturday.