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We invited local environmental organizations & businesses to attend an Earth Day festival to educate the public on simple ways they could make Earth Day everyday. We had 47 exhibitors come, music throughout the 4 hour event, games and crafts aimed at providing an environment message and a beautiful art work exhibit by children from a local elementary school. Although this was not a money making event, we had between 400-500 people in attendance which has regenerated interest in our local chapter and has helped us to network with local non-profits where we would like to volunteer. Members helped as they were able the event was spearheaded by 5 members and their families putting in about 100 hours of time/family.
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The families from our school came together to participate in a beach cleanup in Galveston, TX.
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We placed two plastic barrels in our school cafeteria. Group members collect bins when full. They also smash and count the cans. One of our other members goes to a different school and does the thing. The cans go to the organization Cans for Africa.
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We planned and organized a booth at our local Arbor Day celebration. We sold crafts that our group made, we also had display boards providing people with information about Roots & Shoots, Jane Goodall, Cans For Africa and deforestation.
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We met up with zoo educator, for the Oklahoma City Zoo, in the zoo's work room. Our group collected empty 2 liter bottles and washed them out, then we covered the inside of bottles with honey and the poured mixtures of nuts into the bottles. The zoo keepers placed bottles in indoor enclosure and placed sticks next to bottles hoping that they would use them as tools. We then observed there behavior when they saw and ate the treats.
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Our group made and flew a giant Peace Dove at Jane Goodall's "A Reason for Hope" lecture in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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Our group was invited to be presenters at the Gales Creek Watershed Conference on April 7 at Pacific University. We set up a table with our R&S display board as well as our "Leaf Pack" board. Leaf Pack was a water quality science experiment we ran on a local creek. The unique part of being there was that we were the only youth group. Most of the presentations and displays were put on by scientific experts and professional agencies. In spite of that, we were well received. It felt great to be a part of this adult event and we learned a lot. The conference's purpose was to explore the issues of water quality in our local watershed and to celebrate some of the successes in improving it. There were speakers, panel discussions, story tellers and movies. At the conclusion, we all went out on "field trips" into the watershed to see successful projects. We went out to the "Rippling Water" site. Only 4 of our members were able to attend, but they really enjoyed it. We plan to be part of this conference next year
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On April 14th, we were invited to participate in the community wide event, "New to Forest Grove". The purpose of the event was to showcase the various organizations and agencies located in Forest Grove. It was an introduction for newly arrived residents as well as a celebration for the community as a whole. We set up a table with our display board. We displayed and promoted our "Bottles for Sea Turtles" project and the upcoming SOLV IT event, as well as all the other projects we do. We fit in quite well and felt great about being part of this community event. We even learned more about other things happening in our community.
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In March, as a build up to Earth Day, we started up a school wide project that we called "Bottles for Sea Turtles". This innovative program is sponsored by Earth's Birthday Project. We are collecting 20 oz. plastic bottles (basic pop bottles plus others) which are sent off to be reused by an innovative company that fills them with liquefied worm compost. This product by 'TerraCycle' is widely available in major stores like Home Depot. TerraCycle provides the prepaid boxes to ship bottles to them. They also give $.05 per bottle in our name to Leatherback Sea Turtle habitat restoration in Costa Rica. If we can collect 1,000 bottles, it will result in one full acre of habitat restored and protected. This project has multi purposes. We have researched the issues faced by sea turtles and spread this message throughout the school and community. The bottles are re-used. We have had some great discussions about this, deepening our awareness of "reduce, reuse, recycle". Another message to the school is that our individual actions (just on bottle!) makes a difference. So far, we have collected over 400 bottles, but we are continuing to collect. The Terra Cycle campaign will run through December of this year, so we will most likely continue next year. We highly recommend this project to any Roots & Shoots group!
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At the beginning of the year, we decided to undergo a year-long fundraising project. We researched multiple charities and voted on Tchimpounga. Then we had two bake sales in front of a local grocery store. These occurred in the weekends before Thanksgiving and Valentine's day when many people were anxious to buy baked goods; this greatly assisted our profits. Members contributed home-baked goods and informative flyers about Tchimpounga. We were amazed by the positive feedback and support of the shoppers. We combined the profits made from the bake sales with the money we made from selling reusable canvas grocery bags and donated $550.00 to Tchimpounga sanctuary in late April. We presented the check to Jane Goodall after hearing her speak at Western Connecticut State University.

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