Copy of the Nomination:
Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School is a champion for environmental education in all senses of the word. RC has worked with SOLV’s Green Team program for eight years, engaging sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in streamside restoration and challenging them to think critically both inside and outside of the classroom. Because of the frequency and length of their visits to Willow Creek, students truly become stakeholders and investors in the site. Alumni of Rachel Carson come out during the summers along with current students to maintain and water the site. RC embodies environmental education and deserves to be recognized for their dedication, passion and enthusiasm. Students and staff get excited about the opportunities that SOLV and the Green Team program present and they engage whole-heartedly. Each site visit is chaperoned by Rachel Carson teachers and parents, who also join the students on the weekly Wednesday site visits to places like the Oregon Food Bank and Hoyt Arboretum. Students are responsible for planting and maintaining garden beds at their school; produce from the garden is harvested by the students and given to the Oregon Food Bank. By creating partnerships like these with SOLV and the Oregon Food Bank, RC is exposing students to the needs in their community, instilling in them a sense of responsibility and showing them how they can make a difference at any age. Because of RC, these students are aware of their role as stakeholders in their community.