Eaton Rapids Goes Green

Instead of hitting the books, Eaton Rapids students got a lesson Wednesday, in going green.

"Cleaning up our planet is the obligation of our generation," says Devan Rostorfer, the Eaton Rapids High School senior who organized the Community Earth Day Festival as part of an independent study.

High school students spent Earth Day planting trees and shrubs, picking up debris, and beautifying the Playground of Dreams, because Rostorfer had an idea of her own.

"I thought, 'Why don't we bring the community groups together and sort of work on increasing environmental awareness,'" she says.

So, she organized the inaugural Community Earth Day Festival.

Parents, teachers and kids K-12 hit Howe Field ready to learn some environmentally-friendly lessons.

"We kind of show to the younger students that taking care of the earth and getting involved with the community is fun," Rostorfer says. "It's the cool thing to do."

Eaton Rapids' Earth Day festival is more than just one day to recognize the environment. It's part of a long term, community-wide goal to go green.

"We're going to try to reduce our energy costs by 10 percent, which is pretty aggressive when you think about having lights on in classrooms and running swimming pools and having computers on," says Bill DeFrance, superintendent of Eaton Rapids Public Schools.

The district is counting on this festival to show everyone how to pull the plug on wasteful behavior.

"The goal is really for kids to feel like they can have an impact on the environment," DeFrance says. "I think with one person it starts small, but when you get a group of people involved, it really becomes big pretty quick."

For now, they're planting the seed.


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