A Step Back Into the Soil

Differences with Timberwolves for the Environment


Photo courtesy of Madison Shields

Demonstrating how to make plarn, junior Erin Nam provides club members with help and supplies. Timberwolves for the Environment have been making plarn since their first meeting, they also plan to make wreaths out of unused plastic in the future. “It’s definitely fun [making plarn], but right now basically all of the members know what they’re doing,” said Nam. “We do it every club meeting.”

Madison Shields, Reporter

Timberwolves for the Environment is taking a new turn this school year. Students who are interested in changing the world with their own hands should turn to the Environmental club. Activities like making plarn (plastic yarn) and park clean-ups create a composed atmosphere that results in an inviting club.

Another feature of the club is guest speakers, where former students who now work in environment-related professions talk about what they do in their daily lives to help better the environment, even after graduating. The next guest speaker will be former student Haley Davis, who will speak on Oct. 4.

The club’s sponsor is Principles of Health Science Technology, Medical Terminology and Medical Microbiology teacher Shannon McPherson.

“When I was hired eleven years ago, I was teaching environmental classes,” McPherson said. “It was funny, the first day of school the administrator says, ‘You’re in charge of the environmental club.’ I taught environmental in a different district years ago. It turned into a student-run organization instead of me running it they do all of the work. It just keeps attracting more and more people to be involved, because we’re always doing projects and they run everything, so it’s been great.”

McPherson started out as the organizer of the club, but after many years of changes, the club has developed into a student-oriented program. Aside from making plarn, the club plans on discovering each member’s carbon footprints while also providing updates on environmental-related news.

“I know we’re gonna be using the pieces of the bags that we can’t use for that [plarn] to make wreaths,” McPherson explains. “We raise money to Adopt a Wolfpack lives in Missouri, that’s endangered. In the past we’ve done shoes, I think this year it’s Soles4Souls.”

Making plarn is a regular activity done at every meeting. The process consists of taking used plastic bags then cutting them up and tying them, resulting in plarn.

“It’s definitely fun [making plarn], but right now basically all of the members know what they’re doing,” junior and Secretary of Timberwolves for the Environment Erin Nam said. “We do it every club meeting.”

With their shared passion of working together to create a better environment, the club offers many volunteer opportunities for students such as scheduled park clean-ups and collecting of recycled materials. In addition to volunteering, the club offers a diverse community to be a part of, according to Nam.

“It was a good opportunity to get volunteer hours,” Nam said. “In my opinion, the Timberwolves for the Environment (TFTE) club is very chill as there are no hour requirements and dues. Additionally, meetings are totally optional. People can stop by when they have time and when they’re busy they can check the google classroom to see what we discussed during the meeting. We really wanted to create a club environment where members can just relax and have fun, while spreading environmental initiatives.”

For students who are interested in joining TFTE, the best time to do it is now. The first park clean-up is to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

“As a club, we participate in park clean ups as a way to help the environment little by little. Although our park clean ups may be small,” Nam said. “they help keep them clean for people to visit, and more importantly it ensures that recyclable materials don’t hit landfills.”

Timberwolves for the Environment aim to educate students about pressing environmental issues and in turn, teach them how to create solutions, and they encourage students to join the club. Meetings are held every Monday after school in McPherson’s room, which is located in the Art building in Room 4009.

“I personally think that students should join this club because it is a very open environment where people can also talk to their friends while making plarn or during park clean ups,” Nam said “But, there are many environmental issues that many students are not aware of that they can gain more knowledge about. Most meetings we have a section called ‘Environmental News’ where we go through current events about the environment, in order to spread knowledge to students. With a little bit of change within everyone’s life, such as reducing the usage of one-time use plastic, we can take small steps to creating a better environment for future generations.”