“What is the effect on our local neighborhood if the scrub jays are not saved?” The fate of these lively inquisitive birds was on everyone’s mind as exuberant middle-schoolers seeking answers to this and other questions filled the gym at Laurel-Nokomis School May 7 for an Environmental Awareness Fair organized by Vice Principal Debbie Cohen.
The goal was to provide information about conservation efforts in Florida and ways the next generation can make a difference.
Fourteen organizations — Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Oscar Scherer State Park, Sierra Club, Marie Selby Gardens, Venice Wildlife Center and the Gulf Coast Conservation Foundation, among others — were represented, with information about volunteering and activities for families. Some students’ families already had gardens, so the kids were interested to learn that putting in native plants absorbs runoff, saves water and attracts native wildlife.
Others had spent time in parks, on the Legacy Trial or on the water. Judging from their knowledge and enthusiasm, the planet will be in good hands in the future.