The Environmental Club is one of 16 clubs offered at Hockinson High School at this time and boasts approximately 10 dedicated members, most of which are upperclassmen currently studying AP Environmental Science. Club membership centers around increasing awareness of environmental issues local to Brush Prairie and seeking out schoolwide reforms to be even more environmentally friendly. With a strong legacy of introducing environmentally friendly practices at school, the Environmental Club celebrates another milestone this year:Electronics recycling collection at Hockinson High School.
Currently, the Environmental Club is hosting an electronics drive to safely recycle them in an environmentally friendly manner. The club is collecting used cell phones, chargers, and other small electronics that have a battery or charger. This excludes televisions and computer monitors. Donors can drop off electronics near Hockinson High School’s front office during school hours.
The electronics drive is accepting donations until February 3rd. Donations will be turned into Earth Friendly Recycling in Vancouver, WA. The Environmental Club is paying to have these electronics recycled, but there is no cost to drop off donations.
Hockinson High School science teacher and club advisor Dennis Dewitt helps to coordinate the club's community outreach events. In the past, the Environmental Club partnered with the local group, Salmon Creek Fly Fishers. The two groups worked together to pick up trash along part of Highway 99 near the Hazel Dell area.
“The club creates opportunities for leadership and voice by allowing students to become involved in something they care about and can do something about. When students are educated about some of the environmental issues society faces, they naturally want to take action and make a difference. When students are motivated, leadership and voice are a natural extension of student involvement,” Dewitt says.
Hockinson High School’s Environmental Club made local news after working with the Washington State Department of Transportation in April 2022. School staff and club members planted trees along I-5 in Hazel Dell. This was intended to improve the air quality for homes located near the highway.
Club members took action and drafted a formal proposal to WSDOT to make that partnership happen. Student leaders of the Environmental Club aligned hands-on projects with WSDOT's goal to bring back more plant species native to Washington and help reforestation efforts.
The Environmental Club members' sense of initiative is responsible for filling some barren stretches of I-5 with native evergreen trees and other plant life. Hockinson School District Board President Patrick Carter donated 50 seedlings to the project and helped it come to life.
“This planting is a legacy project in two ways: The trees will grow, and the hope is that the effort will also grow by inspiring other area schools to create green spaces along our freeways,” Carter told the publication. “Their goal is to improve air quality and create a powerful visual that Washington is ‘The Evergreen State.’”
All Hockinson High School students interested in learning more about the Environmental Club and what they do for the local community are encouraged to attend club meetings. The Environmental Club meets every other Wednesday in Room 310 at 8:30 a.m.