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The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

SNHS members volunteer at a lake clean-up event

 

Senior Madelynn Flynn finds invasive channeled apple snail eggs in the lake. These channeled apple snails consume and harm the surrounding vegetation as well as the snail eggs of the native species.
(photo by Nadia Knoblauch)

Students from Science National Honor Society did not really understand what they were getting into when signing up to volunteer for a lake clean up on Saturday, Nov. 4. The lake water rose from waist-deep to chest-deep, students worked to remove invasive wildlife as well as planting native species throughout the lake’s ecosystem.

This community service opportunity was set up by the Seminole Education, Restoration, and Volunteer (SERV) program. Students traveled to Lake of the Woods at Fern Park where they met volunteer coordinator Elizabeth Stephens. After getting a rundown of the activities, the students started to work. 

Senior Madalynn Flynn was one of the students who participated in this event. With a passion for environmental preservation and previous experience through UCF aquatic planting events, she volunteered to work on the lake. During the clean-up, Flynn found some invasive aquatic snail eggs and a caterpillar that she got to hold. 

I love going to these events, working with our community, and promoting science. I feel that it’s an easier and more fun way to get your hours,” Flynn said.

In total, 16 students from SNHS participated in the event. At first, students were told to dig, plant and secure the species by themselves, but that turned out to be a challenge.

The hardest thing was keeping the plants secure because they kept floating back out from all the movement. We found it was a lot easier to work as teams,” Flynn said.

The hardest thing was keeping the plants secure because they kept floating back out from all the movement. We found it was a lot easier to work as teams.

— Senior, Madalynn Flynn

Four groups of three students worked inside the lake. One student would dig a hole, the other would plant the species in a specific depth level and the last student would push on the plant to make sure it was secure. The remaining four students stayed on the bank of the lake to pull weeds and collect invasive species. Throughout the clean-up, SERV workers would explain the benefits and harms of the invasive species and the importance of keeping the native species thriving in the lakes. Although there was some confusion at first, members learned the benefits of replanting native species through this hands-on opportunity.

“During the event, some people did not exactly know what clothes to wear and they got very muddy, but I was glad that people came to help clean and conserve our local community,” SNHS president Nicole Chmilnitzky said.

SNHS members, along with other 39 volunteers from high schools and colleges around the county, planted 1952 naive shoreline plants around the lake some of which included 900 duck potatoes, 350 pickerelweeds, 200 golden canna, 200 swamp lily, 300 blue flag iris, and 2 cypress trees. SNHS plans to give out more community service opportunities through the SERV program in the future.

 

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About the Contributors
Greta Carrasco
Greta Carrasco, Online Editor
Greta Carrasco is a junior at Hagerty High School, and this is her third year on staff. She was born in Mexico and is fluent in both English and Spanish. Her favorite types of stories are opinions, and she enjoys writing about topics she's passionate about.
Nadia Knoblauch
Nadia Knoblauch, Editor-in-chief
Nadia Knoblauch is a senior at Hagerty High School and this is her third year on staff. Nadia has strong passions for journalism and activism, serving as the Vice Chair of Communications for the Florida Scholastic Press Association and Florida Coalition Leader for the United Nations’ Girl Up Initiative. She was named FSPA's Emerging Young Journalist in 2022 and hopes to study Political Science and Journalism in college.
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