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Rosa the Dancer
Rosa the Dancer
May 25, 2024

Saving the earth one hike, fundraiser, and cleanup at a time


Wilderness Club gives back to the environment

HandsAs Wilderness Club’s meeting commences in room 409, the 60 plus members begin to discuss methods in which they could experience nature and protect the environment. If a member has a subject they are passionate about, they are allowed to take the floor and present their idea to the club. When a member takes the floor, the group quiets, bringing their attention to the speaker.

  “We encourage people to come and advocate for causes they would like to raise money for,” said senior Ethan Athey, the club’s president.

  Members consider future activities, allowing every attendant to have a say in the decision. Previously, the club has sold reusable water bottles to help sea turtles, traveled to Santa Cruz island to do field biology, and gone to Joshua Tree National Park to monitor how climate change has affected the trees. The trip to Joshua Tree National Park occurs once annually, while the trip to Santa Cruz island occurs twice a year. Botanical research is what the club mostly does on both these trips.


Senior Sam Collins sits with friends at a Wilderness Club meeting. The meetings are filled with jokes and smiles, yet still discuss serious topics.
WORLD MEETINGS: Senior Sam Collins sits with friends at a Wilderness Club meeting. The meetings are filled with jokes and smiles, yet still discuss serious topics. (Photo credit: Sarah Jagger)

 At JTNP, they monitor the growth of Joshua trees and the effect that global warming has on them. effect of exotic primary consumer removal, which is basically just herbivore removal, on native plants of the island.

  Every Friday at school and two times per month outside of school, the club meets to discuss and actively participate in events that bring them to be more aware and appreciative of the environment.

  “This year, we are trying to encourage our members to create special committees that focus on a topic they really care about and want to raise awareness for,” said Athey, who has been an active member of the club for two years.

  One committee created this year was started by senior Coleen Wiest, in hopes of conserving the endangered redwood trees.

  “My hopes are not only to donate to a worthy organization but also to raise awareness for the trees as well as the rapidly changing environment, and hopefully inspire a few students with a passion for nature,” said Wiest, who hopes wilderness club will have a positive impact on her funraiser,” said Wiest, who believes her cause will be benefitted by Wilderness Club through active members who care about the trees.

  Hats will be sold beginning in November to raise funds and awareness for the matter. Hats should be about five dollars each.

  The projects range from fundraisers for endangered species, to hikes, to beach cleanups. Meetings outside of school often take place near hiking places such as Bishop’s Peak or beaches, at dawn, dusk, or anytime in between. The club’s intent is to spread passion about nature by immersing students in activities entirely outdoors, hiking, giving back to the environment, or anything other outdoor activity. An appreciation of nature is taught, as well as ways to benefit the environment.

  “Our main goal is to get students out into nature. Because once you have fun in it – once you appreciate it – then you want to protect it,” said senior Nicole Raithel, the club secretary.  

  At its core, Wilderness Club is an organization of students who aim to create a better environment and appreciate nature. The club bonds through moments in nature, admiring it, helping it, and understanding it. Surrounded by fog atop Bishop’s Peak to witness the sunrise, staring out at the ocean surrounding the Santa Cruz island, and crammed into room 409 every Friday, members are there to celebrate the one thing they have in common; each and every member of Wilderness Club is there to make our environment the best it can be, however they can.

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