Enviro Club Gears Up for Spring


Emma Johnson

Environmental Club enjoys a brief break in the planting room. The club grows plants during the year and gives them away during Earth Week.

Casey Murray, News Editor

As the world outside turns green again after the long cold darkness of the winter, it is fitting that the greenest club at LFHS is springing into action.

“Spring is a very exciting time for Enviro Club,” senior Cristina Machado said before excitedly recounting the many projects the club has blossoming over the next few weeks.

Environmental Club — known to its members as “Enviro Club” — is a relatively new arrival on the scene at Lake Forest High School. Its predecessor, the Science Service Learning Club, was only constituted during the 2004-2005 school year. Enviro Club sprouted into its modern incarnation during the 2008-2009 school year, according to yearbooks accessed by The Forest Scout.

That young age hasn’t deterred the club from actively promoting “environmental awareness and sustainable living,” as senior and active club member Kimie Han put it.

“Environmental Club… focuses more on providing an accessible means for LFHS students to learn about their impact on the environment through their daily actions,” Han said, in contrast with the Environmental Commission, which focuses instead on ordinances and public policy.

The commitment to outreach sets Enviro Club apart from other student organizations, most of which are self-contained and reach out to the rest of the school only for fundraising support. Environmental Club, by contrast, roots itself in promoting awareness in the student body. A large part of that outreach occurs during Earth Week.

“We plan daily events that promote sustainable practices for the student body,” said Emma Johnson, a senior involved with both the club and the commission. “Whether it be a plant giveaway on Friday… or promoting students to cut down on single-use plastics by bringing a reusable water bottle and bringing their lunch, or even wearing thrifted or recycled clothing, each daily event is simple enough to be incorporated into all of our daily routines,” she said.

Nalgenes and free tomato plants are just the tip of the iceberg. Environmental Club is also planning to team up with Big2Little to bring sustainability to the Evelyn Alexander Elementary School in North Chicago.

Evelyn Alexander is located in a food desert. The median household income in North Chicago hovers around $40,000, a quarter of that in Lake Forest. More than a fifth of all people living in the city live below the federal poverty line. Environmental Club goes there with yogurt cup planters collected over the year in the hope that “these children are able to have access to the fresh fruits and vegetables that they need to live healthy and happy lives,” Han said.

Jim Mergl, the club’s advisor, praised the dedication of the club members, but worries about the numerous threats facing the environment at a global scale.

“They are going to inherit the world,” he said. He laughed sardonically, and a grimace of sorrowful regret flashed across his face. “And that’s the problem.”