School may be out for vacation, but a middle school green team is active during the summer, working on nature trails, clearing paths, and spreading wood chips.

Middle School Green Team is Active During the SummerAt West Orient Middle School in Gresham, Oregon, seventh graders are hard at work in the summer months creating an outdoor classroom.

“This beautiful space wasn’t being used,” said Alan Crapser, West Orient’s Green Team adviser and head custodian. “As a former Eagle Scout, I know how important nature is for kids.”

West Orient’s Green Team tackles many outdoor projects through the school year.  Recently, the school received Oregon’s highest level of Green Schools certification for ongoing efforts toward sustainability through everyday actions.

The mission statement of the nonprofit Oregon Green Schools, which awards the sustainability ranking, “is dedicated to energizing and engaging students through student-driven activities that advance their understanding and ownership of sustainability.”

Students on the Green Team process weekly recycling, removing containers that qualify for bottle redemption and contaminated items.  They also distribute big blue bags so that students can bring in bottles and cans for redemption, raising money for environmental programs at the school.

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