Much has happened since my last blog post two months ago. I've been having a great time as a new member of the Southold Town Youth Bureau (SYB). We're currently planning an environmental initiative to start in September when school is back in session, and I'd love to tell you about it!
Let me begin with a little story. When I graduated Southold High School back in 2004 there was a rumor about how the paper in our paper recycling bins actually wasn't being recycled. Teachers and students in the know would mutter with brief disdain how it doesn't matter which bin you put your paper in, it all goes to the same dumpster at the end of the day.
Fast forward to present day and to Anne Davey, a fresh graduate of Southold High School (and former member of the Southold Youth Council). In her senior year at SHS, Anne Davey tried to champion a new and improved recycling system. Powered and motivated by students and funded by outside organizations, this new recycling system would have been something the whole North Fork could be proud of. Anne ultimately failed due to lack of support from her peers among others. A lesson was learned that you cannot succeed with such a large project as just one woman.
I met last week with Anne Davey and Phillip Beltz -who is the director of the SYB- and discussed potential environmental initiatives for the fall. Also attending the meeting was fellow neophyte board member Dan Durett. We spent an hour brainstorming ways to revitalize Anne's recycling initiative for Southold High School, and we now have a battle plan for Anne Davey's Recycling System version 2.0.
I'm very happy to say that this project excites me! Happy because I only get excited if I truly believe that the potential for success exists, and there are many reasons why this is so. The backbone of the plan is already sketched out. Not only that, but we have a failed attempt that we can learn from. Plus we have new minds on the SYB with new ideas and different ways of looking at things. Dan Durett is a go getter and is idealistic, and years and years of professional experience, including working for the National Council for Science and the Environment. I myself have no qualms walking the halls of my former high school and speaking with students and faculty, and I already have a relationship with most of the faculty as a former student.
Our subcommittee will present the idea to the whole board at the next meeting, and hopefully we get some positive feedback. We will then present the idea to the Southold Youth Council, which consists of 15 students from three different schools.
Positive feedback from the students is the most important because if they don't want to get behind this it will ultimately fail. Not only will it fail, but it will have no meaning. The projects and programs the SYB plans are designed to inspire and help the youth of Southold reach their full potential. The most important part of this potential initiative is that students increase their desire for knowledge of more environmentally sustainable living.
I'll keep you updated on how this and other projects go. A few weeks ago we beautified the town landfill by repairing eight flower beds with reused material found around the dump and planting beautiful annuals and perennials. We won't have too many projects during students' summer break but we will be busy planning.