Earth Club

Sienna Yang, Pawprint Staff Reporter

Hillcrest’s Earth Club, founded just two years ago by a group of ambitious eighth-graders, is centered around “[doing] environmentally responsible things that are good for the earth amongst student groups,” according to club advisor Jake Flanigan. So not only is it an excellent way to earn service hours for other clubs like NHS, but it’s also doing something good for and giving back to the environment. 

“[The club founders] were inspired to kind of start doing things that were more environmentally conscious within school,” Flanigan states, mentioning multiple large-scale projects such as creating and managing a school garden for the new school building and managing school compost and recycling, not just for paper around the school but also for discarded lunch from the cafeteria.

One of the most impressive projects Earth Club does is the Adopt-A-Highway project. Essentially, how it works is that a group will purchase a strip of highway and be required to clean it up three times a year. The most recent clean-up was on Oct. 22.

“[Earth Club’s founders] went through the whole process with the UDOT, or Utah Department of Transportation, to get approved to adopt the highway… all the way from Harmons, on 900 East, all the way across I-215 by Wheeler Farm, and a little bit further down the road,” Flanigan says. 

According to Google Maps, this is roughly 2.1 miles of highway that Earth Club has volunteered to clean. That’s the same as 317 school buses lined up bumper-to-bumper. 

A project that was especially important to Hillcrest faculty and students the year before was proper recycling and disposal of metal and electronic trash coming from the old school building. Teachers and staff were cleaning out their classrooms, so Earth Club took their trash and sorted it to get rid of potential waste.

Their theme last year was to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The club followed it well with that project, categorizing the staff’s trashed items into things that could be recycled, things that could be donated, and things that could just be thrown away.

“…Through recycling metals, we made about 1200 dollars of profit, and through selling other items on [KSL] Classifieds, we made about 300 more,” Flanigan recalls. “It was a pretty successful fundraiser. I think we probably recycled far over a ton of metal.”

Earth Club may do primarily large projects, but the club’s leaders take everyone’s opinions and suggestions seriously- and if they have a good plan, they bring it to Flanigan, and he authorizes it.