South Salem High School continues to use a variety of tools for encouraging staff and students to make waste reduction and resource conservation a priority. South Salem High continues to use periodic educational announcements with examples of ways to conserve/recycle both at school and at home. Watt Watchers post reminders on the doors of staff members and the environment club continues to post educational information regarding conservation around the school. Last year they installed a new (thier first) bike rack at south that holds 30 bikes. They have promoted the benefits of biking or walking to school. South Salem also participated schoolwide in No Impact week last December. Continued awareness as a school is apparent, supporting the idea that a waste reduction mentality is a part of the school’s culture. There is a supportive attitude of the staff, as they respond to the efforts of both the Environmental Club and the Recycling/Work Experience program. Evidence of this support is shown in classrooms that have one bank of lights on instead of two, a nearly 100% participation rate in classroom and office access to the multiple collection containers and hearing that teachers are reminding students to use the containers whenever possible.
There are two clubs at South Salem High School–the Environment Club and Envirothon that both promote conservation. The club hosts multiple extra-curricular events throughout the year that promote conservation. Events this past year included:
- Clark Creek Restoration- Two invasive species removal/planting days this year at the reach of Clark Creek that runs adjacent to our baseball field. They also weeded the riparian area that the school established along the creek in the spring of 2013. This was funded from a $5000 EPA grant and involved over 100 students and 30 community members. SSHS is in the process of developing permanent signs to promote awareness of the project and need for stream conservation.
- Friends of Trees- Planted trees along a nearby reach of the same creek.
- No Impact Week-South Salem High participated in No Impact Week last December. This is a nationally promoted event where individuals give up a new resource each day for one week and then continue to not use that resource for the rest of the week. (See NoImpact.org). They had over 100 students and staff participate and each took a pre and post survey about questions related to conservation. On the last day they had a celebration where the culinary students made appetizers of locally sourced food for all the participants and everyone also received an “I green-heart Oregon” sticker. The Environment Club sponsored this event and used social media to spread their message. They presented their experience around this week at Darwin Discovery Days at Willamette University this past April. Overall the event was a huge success.
- This fall South High completed the restoration of one area of our courtyard from weeds to native vegetation. They also established an herb garden for the culinary students. The club continues to perform Watt Watcher surveys throughout the school to promote awareness.