Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

For Roots and Shoots Members, Cleaning Up Environment Is 'Fun'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

For Roots and Shoots Members, Cleaning Up Environment Is 'Fun'

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

To Nataly Fortys, picking up trash along a 1-mile stretch of Fort Caroline Road is a fine way to spend a Saturday.

"To me, it's not giving up my day," Fortys said. "It's something fun to do for the community."

It's that kind of outlook that's fueling the Roots and Shoots Club, an environmental service organization at Terry Parker High School in Arlington. Fortys, a sophomore, joined because she likes doing community service.

Today's beautification project along Fort Caroline is just the latest in a succession of activities sponsored by the club. Recently, Roots and Shoots made posters for Tree Hill's butterfly festival, launched a school-wide recycling program and staged Earth Week activities.

Math teacher Jennifer Tamol formed the club, a youth offshoot of the Jane Goodall Institute, when she came to Terry Parker in 2006, and serves as its sponsor.

"I knew a lot of students were interested in the environment and didn't really have an outlet or a venue to express that interest," Tamol said.

For its Earth Week celebration, the club ran public service ads from the city's Clean It Up, Green It Up Division and interviews with representatives of the Watershed Action Volunteers and Tree Hill. The spots ran during the school's morning announcements over closed-circuit TV.

As a fundraiser for the Goodall Institute, Roots and Shoots members sold Green Grams in the cafeteria for $1 each. On the front of the cards was a dream catcher with the message that real Braves, the school's mascot, take care of the environment.

Inside were environmental tips telling students, for example, that their cell phone charger still uses energy if left plugged in when not in use and that recycling one soda can save enough energy to power a TV for three hours. Tamol attached chewy candies to the grams and gave them to teachers to pass out to students who had purchased them. …

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