Grassroots Profile: GLINODO Earth Force Participates in 2001 Great Lakes Student Summit
by Susan A. Smith, GLINODO Earth Force Fundraising, Marketing, & Public Relations
In May 2001, twenty young GLINODO Earth Force students spent three days with educators, environmental experts, and other students from three Great Lakes states and Canada for the Fourth Biennial Great Lakes Student Summit in Buffalo, New York. This year’s theme — “Great Lakes, Great Rivers” — provided interactive workshops, project sharing, and exploration opportunities.
The Glinodo Earth Force students’ presentations included:
History of the Great Lakes Watershed as well as a summary of the following Earth Force Projects:
- Preventing or reducing non-point sources of pollution: street sweeping; labeling storm drains; reducing pesticides/herbicides on lawns and golf courses
- Habitat improvements: creating meadows; protecting endangered species; birdfeeders and nest boxes
- Restoring & reclaiming: fish consumption advisory; relocating & rebuilding outdoor classroom trails; monitoring a local glacial lake
- Energy: conservation of energy; ultraviolet bracelets, and greenhouses
- Community Recycling: Erie Zoo; Country Fair convenience stores; McDonald’s restaurant outreach event; schools and use of styrofoam within the Erie City School District
The Summit also provided students with field trips to explore: Niagara Falls; the Buffalo Museum of Science; Terrapin Point, Schoelkopf Geological Museum; Niagara Gorge; Aquarium of Niagara; the Dr. Victor Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve; and birding and water testing jaunts.
Special guests presenting at the Summit included Harvey Schear [Environment Canada]; Kerry Mitchell [Canadian Consulate]; Don Zelazny [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation]; and Doug Bondy, [International Joint Commission].
The Summit concluded with the Earth Force students joining their peers in a “Promise to Future Generations”:
“We, the students of the Fourth Biennial Great Lakes Student Summit, embark on the new millennium with this solemn and heartfelt promise:
- We promise to continue our quest for knowledge related to the Great Lakes and the environment.
- We promise to support recycling efforts and encourage our friends and family to recycle and reduce waste.
- We promise to join in community clean-ups, beach sweeps, tree plantings, and other restoration efforts.
- We promise to reduce our use of energy and natural resources and encourage those around us to do the same.
- We promise to practice water conservation, pesticide reduction and other environmentally friendly practices and convince our families and peers to join our efforts.
- We promise to make others aware of the problems of the Great Lakes and try to convince them to work towards addressing these problems.
- We promise to protect habitats around the Great Lakes, especially wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas.
- We promise to make political leaders more aware of environmental issues and concerns, so that we can keep the Great Lakes healthy for generations to come.
- We promise to encourage stronger and more meaningful cooperation among the Great Lakes states and the Province of Ontario.
- We promise to put the needs of the Great Lakes and the environment before our own personal needs.
- We promise to make a conscious effort to respect all living and nonliving components of our watershed.
- Finally, we promise to give back to the Earth more than we take from it.”