Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Team New Mexico Youth Service Day (part 2)

Our Youth Service Day started out with the team meeting at Bo’s house at eleven in the morning on Friday, April 24. We helped out at an Earth Day fair that was being hosted in Taos with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. The five of us squeezed into her Forrester like contortionists and took off on the hour and a half drive up north. When we arrived, one of the first things we noticed was the wind; Taos was surprisingly windy that day.
When we got to Taos Charter School, we saw that almost everything was being held outside. There were maybe twenty people within view, most of them volunteers, so we weren’t necessarily impressed by the amount of people in the beginning. We walked around a bit looking at all of the projects being presented by the students and volunteers. The things that they had been doing to save the planet were very interesting and the children were more than willing to demonstrate their designs and ideas to us. There were five main stations of projects that were to be done: mulching, composting, tree planting, weed recognition, and reusable bags.
The first boy we talked to had a lot to say about palm oil and the effects harvesting it has on the environment. After his presentation, it was time to learn how to lay mulch. We shoveled wood chips onto newspaper for about half an hour; with all the helping hands of other volunteers and kids, this task was easily completed. We wanted to help with building a compost bin but there were more than enough hands there as well. We decided to take a look at the newly-built greenhouse; its opening was one of the biggest events happening that day. There were just a few seedlings around but it looked like they were on a great start. After that, we walked over to where some people were digging holes for new trees so we saw that as an opportunity to get our hands dirty, literally.
While we were planting a fruit tree, out of nowhere a small tornado flew over the parking lot and around the wooden fence that secluded the garden from the world. It was incredibly breath-taking, scary, and exciting all at the same time, we had a good laugh about it afterwards. We then walked into a classroom full of children learning about local weeds and how they reproduce, grow, and if they’re dangerous. A sixth-grade boy taught us how to compost using nothing more than egg cartons, fruit peels, and earthworms. He said that his class had started their own composting bin, making it out of plastic containers and different materials, and that they got the entire school involved and that now every classroom has a compost bin of their own. The final station was the “make your own” reusable shopping bag out of recycled materials. We were so tired by this time from the overwhelming, yet enjoyable duties that we opted to call it a day.

All in all, we had a great day. It’s always great to see a younger generation doing their part of saving the world, and just to see a different way of living. It’s exciting.

-Pauly and Team NM

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