Nick Scherf
18 February, 2022

Students Lead Initiative to Protect the Environment at DC Park Dumbarton Oaks

Students Lead Initiative to Protect the Environment at DC Park Dumbarton Oaks Lower secondary students led a litter pickup event to protect the environment at Dumbarton Oaks Park in Washington, DC.

This school year, a group of lower secondary students from the British International School of Washington mobilised their peers to make a positive impact on the environment—all during their lunch break. Mathilda D, Molly B, and Rhenna B created a new BISW club called Save Environment Now (SEN) to protect nature and improve the world around them. The group led an effort to enhance Dumbarton Oaks, a public park of historic significance near BISW in Washington, DC. Together with other BISW students, SEN held a litter pickup event during their lunch to keep the park they love clean.

Rhenna B explained that she didn't want to wait for college to do more for the environment; she wanted to make a difference now. So, she and her fellow SEN leaders recruited 16 of their peers to join the initiative.

"Helping our community was an incredible feeling," Rhenna said. "The area we chose in the park was full of trash, and we cleaned it up in 10 minutes! It's still hard for me to believe that we got so many people to join in such a short time."

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The SEN leaders gave special thanks to their Year 7, 8, and 9 peers for participating. "We could not have done this without them," Rhenna said.


According to Molly B, SEN organised this specific activity because they have a great appreciation for Dumbarton Oaks. They hoped to help it remain a calm and beautiful place people could enjoy without encountering trash.

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"We had done a lot of preparation for this event, so I felt proud," Molly said, explaining the success of the event. "It felt really good doing the trash pickup."


"I'm thankful we had an opportunity to help look after our planet!" Mathilda D agreed.

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Assistant Head of Lower Secondary Rachel White-Hunt weighed in on the student-led activity and how delightful it was to see lower secondary students apply the values that BISW promotes.


"Thinking about our community and how we affect it plays a big part of the lower secondary attitude and learner profile diploma," Ms White-Hunt said. "SEN worked hard to create a plan of action and make posters, and they gathered all the materials they needed for the activity. I am so proud of the girls and their great attitude, and I want to say a massive well done to everyone involved."

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The SEN organisers are thinking about future activities. For example, they might organise another initiative like this one or hold a fundraiser to benefit a cause that helps the environment and makes the world a better place.