Briana Zhong, a Grade 10 student from St. Robert Catholic High School recognized two important rising issues in her community that needed to be addressed. Firstly, most students in her school were completing all of their courses online, and as a result, some students were feeling socially isolated and mentally drained. Secondly, in this difficult time for everyone, students were forgetting crucial steps that need to be taken to create and restore habitat. After considering these two observations, she developed a plan to distribute nature kits to the students of her school with support from Go Wild Grants. Inside the nature kits were supplies to participate in hands-on activities including planting native plants and vegetable gardens and setting up bird feeders and birdhouses. Her team planted over 1500 seeds of Butterfly Milkweed, Wild Bergamot, Black-Eyed Susan, Great Blue Lobelia, Blue Vervain, and Dotted Mint to create habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies. In addition, her innovative approach to environmental education with a focus on mental health during a pandemic helped foster agents of change at her school. Her environmental initiative, Go Wild Nature Kits, were featured in the school newsletter sent out to the parents of nearly 2000 students. Briana is incredibly grateful for the experiences she has gained through leading a Go Wild Grant project, helping to instill in her the value of protecting the environment. She is thankful for the tremendous support and words of guidance throughout the process from Ms. Kwong, Mrs. Cruz, and Ms. Lowe.
“I learned a lot about native plants and the importance of creating habitat for wildlife with our Go Wild Nature Kits initiative. Leading the hands-on activities of setting up birdhouses and bird feeders really connected me to nature. I feel great knowing that I am able to make a difference for wildlife and nature!” Briana, Grade 10, 15 years old
“The Go Wild Nature Kits project really encouraged me to actively support wildlife through fun activities like setting up bird feeders and bird houses, learning about and planting native plants, and creating my own sustainable vegetable garden! I am really happy I joined this project, and definitely hope to continue using all the skills I learned.” Priscilla, Grade 12, 18 years old
“The Go Wild Nature Kits initiative created a small family among students with common interests in nature and conservation. At each meeting, students shared photos and stories about their weekly activities, which included setting up birdhouses and planting their very own native plant habitat. At the end of the year, the students expressed how much they appreciated getting out of the house and away from their screens to reconnect with nature and their community.” Ms. Lowe