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The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

Celebrating Earth Day

Sophomore+Lavinia+Washkies+shares+part+of+her+plant+collection.+The+various+types+of+greenery+grow+best+when+under+direct+sunlight+and+water+almost+daily.
photo by Lavinia Washkies
Sophomore Lavinia Washkies shares part of her plant collection. The various types of greenery grow best when under direct sunlight and water almost daily.

Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, serves as a reminder for our collective responsibility to preserve the planet we call home. Originating in 1970, Earth Day has since evolved into a rallying cry for environmental activism and consciousness, encouraging people worldwide to take action in pressing environmental challenges.

In an effort to celebrate Earth Day and contribute to environmental conservation, the Girl Up club and the Science National Honor Society joined forces to host a shoreline cleanup. Supported by a generous donation of $250 from Ocean Wise, a global conservation organization with a mission to rid our oceans of pollution, the event was a major success.

Senior Anouska Seal emphasized society’s role in protecting our environment and safeguarding animal habitats.

“Every piece of trash picked up contributed to bigger problems and helped clean our environment for the wildlife here,” senior Anouska Seal said.

In total, the collaborated effort collected 3.7 pounds of trash including cigarettes and plastic bottles.

“I feel better when I help during [cleanups],” Seal said. “It kind of clears my consciousness knowing that I’m helping the Earth.”

Echoing the same sentiment, Key Club hosted a cleanup initiative in honor of Earth Day. Gathered on April 20, members of the Key Club moved to help pick up litter along Mitchell-Hammock road. By day’s end, their effort resulted in more than four bags of trash collected, ranging from fast food leftovers, plastic bags and tire rubber.

“I never liked how dirty the side of the roads look as I drive so it was nice to be able to fix this for our community,” junior Alexis Williamson said.

For sophomore Lavinia Washkies, the journey into the world of plants goes beyond being a picked up hobby and instead as a homage to cherished memories. As a child, she would accompany her grandmother to her garden, helping her take care of her flowers and fruits. Now, drawing inspiration from her grandmother, Washkies tends to her own garden.

“For me, [gardening is] reliving my childhood memories,” Washkies said. “Every flower I water reminds me of her. Like she is still teaching me how to plant and feed different plants.”

On the other hand, freshman Keano Vega’s fascination with plants stemmed unexpectedly during a leisurely stroll through his old neighborhood. Captivated by the beauty of a front lawn mini-garden, Vega’s love for plants sprouted, prompting his desire to start his own botanical journey.

“I’ve always thought plants were pretty cool,” Vega said. “It wasn’t until I randomly went by someone’s outdoor mini-garden that I really wanted to start my own.”

Attracted by the natural art and diversity of flowers, Vega’s appreciation goes beyond their aesthetic appeal, extending to an admiration of growth. He found that plants were more than random decorations on a sidewalk.

“I mean, they are like the art of nature, and every flower is vibrant and unique. I can’t get enough of it,” Vega said. “I love wildflowers the most, I think. They aren’t purposely planted, it’s like they are just meant to be there and I really like that.”

In their shared stories, there is a common thread of admiration for nature as a testament to the impact of our Earth.

From shoreline cleanups to personal reflections, Earth Day serves as a spark for engagement and commitment to preserving our planet. Moving forward, Washkies encourages our community to channel these practices into everyday life to help nurture the planet.

“Water a plant, or pick some weeds—any step no matter how small makes an impact, especially when it’s focused on more than one day,” Washkies said.

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Gabriella Navarro
Gabriella Navarro, Features Editor
Gabriella Navarro is a junior at Hagerty High School, and this is her first year on staff. She enjoys reading, hanging out with her friends, and listening to Taylor Swift.
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