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Students Spend the Day Beautifying the Community

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Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), in partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hosted a Student Environment Volunteer Day on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Gaithersburg High School. Students learned about sustainability and helped beautify the community. They also worked to enhance the health of the environment by planting native plants and trees in the stormwater management gardens around the school.

The student environment volunteer day is part of the Out-of-School Time (OST) program offered by Montgomery County Recreation, in partnership with MCPS. The OST days are designed with free out-of-school programming for students throughout the 2023-2024 school year. 

“We are excited to offer students activities outside the school day that are engaging and foster leadership skills,” said MCPS Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight. “This day will benefit the environment, teach students about environmental stewardship, beautify the school grounds and help open doors to possible green careers in the future. Together, we will address climate preparedness, mitigate stormwater runoff and nurture the next generation of environmental stewards.”

OST provides students and families with engaging options on days when school is not in session for students. 

"We know that addressing and combating climate change is the top priority issue for young people,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Our students care and are worried about climate change because it will detrimentally impact their health and welfare for their entire life. I am glad that our Department of Environment has partnered with MCPS to create this volunteer opportunity at Gaithersburg High School. When young people are empowered to feel that they are contributing to improving the environment, they will be encouraged to do more.”

The event is being coordinated by the MCPS Office of Facilities Management, Division of Sustainability and Compliance in support of the Board of Education’s Policy ECA, Sustainability, which includes the adoption of “measures to address resiliency and awareness, such as increasing the tree canopy and outdoor educational spaces on MCPS properties and mitigating stormwater runoff.” This event will also provide an opportunity for students to plant more than 2,000 local species.

“This partnership between DEP and MCPS has created an opportunity for Montgomery County students to learn about teamwork, climate goals and action plans,” said DEP Director Jon Monger. “It is a great opportunity for students to get their hands dirty while learning environmental stewardship.”