Home / Blog / Students awarded for helping environment in new competition

Students awarded for helping environment in new competition

Jan 19, 2024Jan 19, 2024

41 students take part in Eco-Warriors of the Future Schools Competition

41 students take part in Eco-Warriors of the Future Schools Competition

The latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.

41 students take part in Eco-Warriors of the Future Schools Competition

Dozens of Baltimore City students took part in the first year of the Eco-Warriors of the Future Schools Competition to make the world cleaner and greener.

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works said the Eco-Warriors event has been in the works for years, but with a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers are happy it's finally off the ground.

From picking up trash to planting gardens and starting recycling projects in schools, officials said building a cleaner and greener Baltimore starts with youth.

"What we found was children are our voices. So, by actually having them there, we are able to bring them into the community, we can have their parents involved, we can have the community involved," said Keita Wells, director of marketing, education and volunteerism at the DPW.

Wells and her team started the competition involving dozens of schools that received a list of eco-friendly activities students could take part in this school year, and they earned Eco-Warrior badges for each one.

On Monday, the schools with the most Eco-Warrior badges and the best projects received awards and prize money from $500 all the way up to $2,500, all for helping to protect the planet.

Creative City Public Charter School, Green Street Academy and Digital Harbor High School took home first place, $2,500 prizes.

Holabird Academy, Roland Park Elementary/Middle School and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School won second place, $1,000 prizes.

Graceland Park-O’Donnell Heights Elementary/Middle School, Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore Design School and City Neighbors High School won third place, $500 prizes.

"We did recycle projects, we did nature therapy, just anything that can get the kids an experience with nature. With recycling, we had the kids take recycle bags throughout the school," said Marquitta Golston, the student success coordinator at Creative City Public Charter School.

"Just working with recycling and emptying it out the entire year enhanced my knowledge of how to recycle properly, to care for the environment and how it can impact to be environment as a whole just as our school," said Sarah Barbaur, a seventh grader at Roland Park Elementary School.

Learning to save the environment and save money along the way, Mayor Brandon Scott said cleaning up behind people costs the city around $10 million every year.

"Every single time DPW has to clean up, or pick up, or cut grass, or do anything on a property that is not city-owned, that is money coming out of your pocket," Scott said.

So, students are walking away from this competition with several simple but important lessons.

"If you see people littering, just get like a trash bag and clean it up," said Sarah House, a fifth grader at Creative City.

Leaders of the Eco-Warriors program said they hope to see more schools participate in years to come.

To learn more, visit the Eco-Warriors website.