Millennium Brooklyn High School
Millennium Brooklyn High School Environmental Club founders and leaders Mia Cohen and Lily Maenza are passionate about sustainability and environmentalism in their community of Brooklyn, New York. With their school being smaller than other New York City public schools, an environmental club hadn’t been established until their arrival at the school. Mia notes that “We started the environmental club… so before we got there, there wasn’t really any place to go for students to discuss different climate issues and anxieties related to global warming.”
With the impact of COVID-19 closing down schools and suspending in-person club events, the Millennium Brooklyn’s Environmental Club had to pivot to all virtual events. “I think this [Tree-Plenish] project is really important for us because we have been wanting to work on a project that’s more hands-on for a while,” says Lily. “Having Tree-Plenish help us to plant trees is a great opportunity… and to make some sort of change within our neighborhood.”
Prior to receiving $375 to fund saplings through the Environmental Equity Fund, Mia remarks that they “really struggled to find ways to receive funding when we were reaching out to businesses… Our school is located on a fairly busy street but we weren’t really grabbing the attention from local stores and business owners and so we are really grateful for the saplings we were able to receive from the equity fund. I feel like without it, it would have been a lot more difficult to progress with this project.”
Outside of Tree-Plenish, Lily states that green spaces - areas where trees can be planted - are very important, especially being in an urban area where there isn’t much green space aside from public parks. When asked about environmental justice, Mia says that it is “significant anywhere and everywhere but specifically in context when you are discussing the climate movement and the climate crisis.”
If you are interested in supporting Mia and Lily’s Tree-Plenish event, please check out their event webpage here.