Remember the Green Team? It was a group of high school students who spent summer mornings beautifying Concord by planting flowers, cleaning trails and, as an added bonus, learning about the environment and green organizations in town. The team has been adopted by PlusTime New Hampshire, a nonprofit that promotes after-school activities, and it's now a year-long program. The team name has also changed to Concord Youth Environmental Services, also known as the positive acronym “YES.”
The first YES team may be new, but the kids aren't wasting any time with a plethora of projects already underway. Here's what the first year-long YES team has been up to:
– Bike program: Teaming with the Program for Alternative Transportation and Health, YES is working on painting downtown bike racks to make them more recognizable and developing a program where bike shops repair donated bikes to be used by PATH.
– Concord Composts: YES is working with local restaurants to encourage composting of food scraps. The team would like to find a local composting location that will accept the scraps and recruit volunteers to transport the compostable waste on a regular basis.
– School supply recycling drive: The team will be collecting extra school supplies at the end of the year to be donated to students and schools in need next year. For details, visit theconcordinsider.com and check out YES team member Patrick Walmsley's plan.
– Mini conference: YES represented Concord at the Gulf of Maine Institute's conference in Newburyport, Mass. Not only did the team get to give a presentation on using digital media in environment projects, but they also visited Plum Island to map invasive Pepperweed and conducted downspout surveys to assess whether gutters are directing water to appropriate areas to avoid flooding.
YES is currently recruiting for the summer team. If you're between the ages of 15-19 and are interested in applying, call Deandra Perruccio at 856-8837 or apply online at plustime.org (click on the “What's New” section). In addition to the projects outlined above, the summer team will also green up urban spaces in town; learn about responsible forest management with the city forester through projects like habitat restoration, invasive species management and trail maintenance; work with the Karner Blue Butterfly easement; and participate in a collaborative project with other Gulf of Maine Institute teams on water quality testing along the Merrimack River.
The team is also looking for financial support from community members and businesses, and volunteers to assist with projects and to offer educational experiences for the team. Have ideas for projects? Call Deandra at 856-8837 to chat about it.