New camp teaches youth sustainability

LOGAN- On Thursday, a group of six girls ages 10-13 toured the Logan Landfill. The tour was part of Stokes Nature Center’s Sustainable You week-long camp.

“The best way to learn is to actually go and see,” said Utah State University Assistant Professor in Sustainable Communities Roslynn Brain. “Having a visual, going to the landfill and seeing these big trucks pushing that waste down, I feel like that sticks in your head a lot better than me rambling a bunch of facts to the kids.”

Brain developed the curriculum for Sustainable You camp and first tested it at Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter in Park City during the beginning of July. The camp this week at Stokes Nature Center is the second pilot run. Brain hopes that response will be positive so she can develop a statewide curriculum.

“Each day is focused on a different theme of sustainability,” explained Brett Tingey, an intern for Utah Conservation Corps at Stokes Nature Center. “There’s land, air, water, food, and energy. So each day of the week is focused on one of those themes.”

Thursday’s theme was land, so while at the landfill, the girls were encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle. At the beginning of the tour, the girls learned that 250 tons of garbage are taken to the Logan Landfill each day. Throughout the tour, girls pointed out items in the heaps of garbage that could have instead been recycled.

“It is overwhelming to see our waste in a big mountain, but you can spin that positively,” said Brain. “We like to ask them, ‘What are some easy things you can do and what are some positive things you can gain from being sustainable?’”

Environmental Educator Ashley Graham said this camp was fun because of the maturity level of the participants, “I think this is the perfect age to teach them because they are getting to the point where they can start implementing some of these things.”   

To find out more about the activities Stokes Nature Center offers, visit their <a href=”http://www.logannature.org/index.html” target=”_blank”>website</a>.    

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