- Sponsorship -

Nurturing a love of nature

‘If we don’t take care of it, we can’t live here anymore’


Who would head outside in sub-freezing temperatures, as snowflakes are swirling, and jump in a creek? The Godwin Green Team, that’s who.

Bill Mull, seventh-grade science teacher at Godwin Heights Middle School, started the extracurricular club last year to increase student opportunities to get outside and learn. So far, membership is at 15 seventh- and eighth-graders.

Recently, the team visited a tributary of Plaster Creek near Hillcroft Park, just west of school, and tested the characteristics of the water for depth, flow rate, pH levels, E. coli content, and more. The students will test the stream periodically throughout the school year to see how it changes and to understand how those changes affect the levels of pollution.

Bill Mull gives directions to members of the Godwin Green Team prior to water sampling

Mull said that through its affiliation with the Groundswell program, a coalition of community partners that creates opportunities for hands-on environmental education, students could look at improvements that could be made for the health of the stream.

“We know now that we cannot take clean water for granted and that we need to work to preserve the health of our streams for ourselves and for the future,” he said. “Between what we do with Groundswell and in this club, we want students to understand that they can be stewards in this process and that their actions can have an impact in maintaining and improving stream health.”

Green Team member Nikolas Ransom, who said he camps almost weekly with his family, has a great appreciation for the outdoors. Nikolas said the Green Team matters because “We all live here.”

Seventh-grader Zadrea Rochelle said Green Team is the first extracurricular activity she’s joined.

Sidney Kremer collects water samples from a tributary of Plaster Creek dubbed ‘Wolverine Creek’ because it’s located next to the Godwin Heights Wolverines’ stadium

“I wanted to learn more about the environment,” she said. “Like Nikolas said, ‘We all live here.’ If we don’t take care of it, we can’t live here anymore.”

The club dabbles in a variety of activities, such as keeping the aquarium clean and the fish alive for the school’s Salmon in the Classroom program. Projects on the horizon for the group include growing native plants and tree seedlings, establishing a school recycling program and learning about orienteering and geocaching.

Mull said the Green Team hopes to conclude the year with a camping trip to the Yankee Springs State Recreation Area.

“I think our club is important in that it can foster an interest in the outdoors and nature that students in our district may not otherwise have access to,” he said. “Anytime we can get them outside, in a greenhouse, working with fish, or doing something other than sitting in front of a video screen, that will be meaningful for our students.”

CONNECT

Students work toward a more sustainable tomorrow

- Sponsorship -
Bridie Bereza
Bridie Bereza
Bridie Bereza hails from Lansing and has worked in the Grand Rapids area as a reporter, freelance writer, and communicator since graduating from Aquinas College in 2003. She feels privileged to cover West Michigan's public schools and hopes to shed a little light on the amazing things happening there through her reporting.

LATEST ARTICLES

Fourth-grader’s pickle stand inspired by school marketplace

‘With my tiny fingers, I am good at stuffing them,’ said the young pickle peddler. ‘You can see how they are packed in, so you get more for the money’...

Looking for classroom lessons in the great outdoors

Sally Triant is exploring every GRPS campus in the city, looking for places to turn the outdoors into an educational opportunity...

Home schooling inquiries grow as parents ponder how to meet children’s needs

The pandemic has caused parents to seek options for schooling and socialization. For some, home schooling becomes an option, while others create new ways to help their children...

GRPS to continue virtual-only instruction for rest of semester

GRPS leaders decided to extend the district's 100 percent virtual learning model for the rest of the first semester after the Kent County Health Department announced rapidly rising COVID-19 positivity rates...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

‘Ner-cited’ to be back in person

After spending the first couple weeks in virtual school, fifth-grader Jakiyah Johnson said she knew as she entered through the doors of North Godwin Elementary on Sept. 14 that this year was going to be great...

The changing of guard – as long-time educator and AD welcomes a new one

Godwin Heights Football Coach Brandon Kimble will take over as the district’s athletic director when Robert Hisey, dean of students and athletic director, officially retires Nov. 2...

Godwin Heights: first three weeks remote with gradual start of in-person classes

Godwin Heights will start the school year today with remote learning for all K-12 students for the first three weeks. A fully remote option also is available to all students...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS