Located in the MetroWest subregion of the Greater Boston metropolitan area lies a thriving, diverse city with a population of over 71,000. Home to the first production center of General Motors, America’s first public teachers’ college (the State Normal School) and widely recognized for its 1948 heart study, Framingham offers a unique blend of urban, suburban, and rural qualities.
Before there was Framingham High School, there were two schools - the North and the South. Opting for unification within the town, the schools merged in 1991. The first environmental club, focused on learning more about the environment and problems arising from human actions, was formed by students in 2010. It fell apart by 2014 and was reestablished by two science teachers, Emily Rathmell and Rebecca Maynard, in 2018. They continue to co-advise the club today. Leading the club this year are two members of the class of 2022, Emma Rothwell, President, and Ella Downey, Vice President.
When the Tree-Plenish organization reached out to the advisors this past fall there was no hesitation in bringing the idea to the club. We thought, what better way to bring awareness to environmental issues, contribute to help make Framingham more sustainable, and continue our efforts to reduce paper usage in the district? Let’s rewind. A few months prior, the Environmental Awareness Club had opened up the conversation of ways to reduce paper usage in the district with our superintendent. The data that he was able to provide us with was alarming; we were consuming an immense amount of paper. We soon developed “tips and tricks to reduce paper usage” to provide faculty and staff across the district with, and began collecting information on possible technology for the district to consider purchasing to help continue our push to consume less paper. Fast forward a few months and the Tree-Plenish email arrived in our inbox. The rest is history.
Our planting date is May 1, 2021. We have surpassed our goal of securing 210 trees to be planted in and around Framingham; we will be planting 270! We were lucky enough to have community members and local businesses support our initiative and provide donations to enable these trees to be offered for free! We look forward to beginning our search for volunteers in the next month. What better way to strengthen ties to our community and work towards a greener future than to be a part of this project.