Every May, the town holds an Earth Day festival called “Leonia Day.”  And every year, members of this small, 1,000-home town flock to Wood Park to enjoy a spring day outside with their neighbors. Leonia Day offers many free components: a petting zoo, face painting, hot dogs and popcorn, music, and more.  This event gives local community groups an opportunity to present their work and for the community to learn about the vibrant and active town they live in.  The groups are assigned an area in the parking lot to present their information.

In an effort to educate the community this year, the public school system, the Leonia School District Green Team, and the Environmental Commission worked together to offer presentations on different environmental concerns that were on the minds of students from each school. Members of the Green Team met with the Leonia School District Superintendent and Environmental Commission in the weeks before the event.  E-mails were sent to the principals of each school to plan how best to organize and ensure the safety of children at Leonia Day, which was on a Sunday.  Permission slips were created and distributed to students who wanted to participate.  School principals and teachers helped organize students who wished to present.

In order to draw attention to the student’s presentations, the Environmental Commission offered a free raffle for a new composter.  Also in the weeks prior, the School District Green Team gathered approximately 50 reusable shopping bags from around the community to hand out for free to all who stopped by the students’ presentations.

This year, teams of students from ACS, LMS and LHS brought projects they had created to help spread the word about ways we can get closer to becoming Zero Waste Leonia. Below, you can see the students explaining each project.

Josephine Meltzer presents a research project she performed with her fellow ACS students Anaya Hamid and Daniyal Hamid. Their survey of ACS students and teachers found that over 40% of survey participants still use plastic single-use water bottles and bring them to school.

ACS student, Victoria Navarro, presents with her dad on the importance of recycling and how it affects the Life Cycle of animals.

LMS student Bela Sehgal presents her educational piece on composting.

ACS student, Evan Kirby, educates the public on his ACS first grade class’s efficient “Farm of the Future,” using solar and wind power.

LHS students Katie Lee, Christy Choo, and Jamie Kim teach our community importance of recycling.  They present their hands-on station where children can make bracelets and other jewelry out of recycled materials.