Portfolio category: Environment

Plastic Bag Ordinance

The Plastic Bag Ordinance is a project aiming to implement a ban on plastic bags in the city of Medford. The ordinance has been recently introduced to neighboring cities as Cambridge and Somerville, requiring major businesses to charge custmers a minimum fee for each plastic bag used for their purchases. This ordinance encourages citizens to bring their own bags while shopping to not only avoid the plastic bag fee, but to also reduced the usage of plastic bags as a whole, reducing the effects they have on the communities. By implementing their own Plastic Bag Ordinance, the city of Medford would be joining this movement to diminish the impact we have on the world’s environment.

MHS Compost

Ebyan, Audrey, and Rachel are working toward reinstating compost bins in the cafeterias. By doing this, they hope to spread environmental awareness and make Medford High School more eco-friendly. They plan on creating a student-run program in Cafeteria 1 with the help of Mr. Tuden, and if that is successful, move the plan up to Cafes 2 and 3. Volunteers will watch over the composting bins during lunch so all food and waste go in their respective bins. The volunteers will monitor the bins during their lunch period so there will be an even distribution of people for both lunch blocks. After school, the group will take the composting bins from the cafeterias and handle them either with an outside company that collects waste or they will install a larger compost bin at one of the courtyards at the school.

Fells Day BBQ

On June 13th after the annual Medford High Fells Day Celebration, CCSR member Mya Winslow and the Fells Educational Partnership (FEP) held an environmentally friendly BBQ. The BBQ was partially funded by Wegmans and used environmentally friendly products in order to lessen the amount of waste produced and spread awareness about conserving resources.

Victory Park Dog Dispensers

As soccer players, Gavin Falvey, Ben Verity, and Marvin Michel have played many games and had many practices on Victory Park. They noticed that it is a popular place for people to walk their dogs, so to improve the community's dog walking experience, they worked to install doggy bag dispensers around the field. This allows dog walkers to easily dispose of their dogs’ waste and also helps the environment and overall appearance of their beloved park.

School Recycling

In order to lessen the school's impact on the environment, these CCSR students started a series of recycling initiatives around the school. Posters were created and spread around that show what can and can't be recycled. Recycling containers were purchased, decorated, and then donated to teachers' rooms. There are also plans to talk to city officials to add a recycling component to the cafeteria.

Middlesex Fells Narrative

In order to help out at the Northeast Animal Shelter and Kitty Connection adoption center, a drive was organized for donations such as towels, linens, food, litter, etc.

Student Environmental Advocates of Medford (Seam)

The Student Environmental Advocates of Medford is a club organizing specific actions in fighting for the local environment. By assembling this group, Maria, Shubhecchha, Rubia, Rachel, Abyan, Mya, and Audrey hope to accomplish various projects throughout the school year and beyond their high school careers. The environment is a powerful part of the society, and its maintenance is paramount, especially in our lives today. SEAM hopes to encourage the community’s maintenance of Mother Earth.

Environmental Awareness

Hi MHS, my name is Audgellyca Ashmarah. It’s a pleasure to be a member of the CCSR. I chose to do a project involving the environment because I want to reform the way we treat our world. I wish to make the our Earth a fantastic place, not necessarily perfect, but my goal is to reignite a true passion for nature within everyone.

Rebel Recyclers

Third graders Georgia Scott and Addie Costello are student leaders and members of the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility. Their project was starting a #4 plastic recycling program at the Brooks Elementary cafeteria.

Save our Animals

Third graders Ryan Surette and Alexandra Ingano both think of animals like their friends. Therefore, they educated the Brooks students about the many dangers our planet’s animals face. Most importantly, they taught about ways they could help them. Ryan and Alexandra believe we need to do everything we can do to save them.

Go Green

Fourth graders Anna White and Isa created an awareness campaign about conserving resources within the Brooks Elementary. They personally talked to each Brooks’s class about saving resources. They wanted the Brooks to know more about how people are hurting the Earth and ways to save it.

Water Conservation Posters

3rd-graders Delilah and Anayah decided to design posters encouraging people to conserve water, which were then laminated and displayed in the student bathrooms in the school. They chose to do this project because water is a valuable natural resource that we shouldn’t waste. They hope that their posters will remind students to conserve water when using the school bathrooms.

"The Protectors" Birdhouse Makers

This group of 1st-graders came up with the creative idea of making birdhouses and bird feeders to install around the McGlynn grounds. Their goal was to create spaces to help shelter and protect birds during the winter. With the help and guidance of PTG mom Renee Hanley, these ambitious kids put together wooden birdhouses using kits, then painted and decorated them in different colors and styles, and ultimately hung them from trees all over the McGlynn outdoor grounds.

Saving Gorilla Habitats

This group of 4th and 5th graders wanted to do something to help endangered animals, and after some internet research, they found out that the Franklin Park Zoo and the Stone Zoo collect used cell phones to save gorilla habitats. To start, they printed up some coloring pages of gorillas for younger students to color that also tell about the phone donation program. They collected several used electronics that were dropped off at the Stone Zoo in person.

Saving Reptiles

Both of these 3rd-grade girls have had snakes or other reptiles as pets, and it made them sad that a lot of people think snakes are scary or gross. Together, they made a poster about snakes and shared their stories of positive experiences they’ve had with pet snakes, with the hope of reducing people’s fear and disgust towards snakes and other reptiles, and maybe encouraging others to adopt a reptile as a pet.

Recycling and the Environment

This group of civic-minded 5th-graders opted to continue the work on recycling that some other students started last year. Back in October, they came up with several ideas that they’re currently working their way through. They wrote a letter to Mayor Muccini-Burke’s office, asking what they could do to improve recycling in our school and citywide. The Mayor responded back and asked the students to design a flyer on recycling to be sent out city-wide! The group also made a picture book about recycling that other children can read.

Adopt a Panda

This group of 4th and 5th graders had a passion for endangered wildlife, and discovered the World Wildlife Fund’s “adopt-a-panda” program. In this program, people from all over the world can financially sponsor a panda for a period of time. These students all really liked pandas, and decided they wanted to do this. In order to raise the money to adopt their own panda, this group joined with several other groups to put on a fundraiser during lunch time. They made origami bookmarks, then charged their classmates to decorate the bookmarks in the cafeteria. This fundraiser generated enough money for all of the groups involved to do what they’d aimed to do, and this group adopted their panda! The symbolic adoption came with a kit including a stuffed panda, an adoption certificate, a panda fact card, and a reusable bag.

Crayon Recycling

Fourth graders Devon and Will are greatly concerned for the world in which they live. They learned that over a half a million pounds of crayons are thrown in the trash each year. Wax crayons are made from petroleum, and do not break down in landfills. The boys decided to partner with The Crayon Initiative to start a crayon recycling program at the Roberts. They first tallied how many classrooms were in the school building. Then they decorated empty tissue boxes to distribute to each room. They visited each class and discussed the importance of recycling the crayons. The crayons were shipped to the Crayon Initiative where they were melted down and made into new crayons, which were then distributed to children’s hospitals across the country.

Recycling Info Posters

Jerrick, Nolan, Jerry and Shayne noticed that students and teachers were often confused about what to put in the blue recycling bins in their classroom. They decided to research what common classroom items could be recycled and which ones could not be recycled. They contacted the Office of Energy & Environment at Medford City Hall. They were informed about a great website that helps Massachusetts residents figure out what is recyclable, which the boys used to help make their list. They created a student-friendly poster for each classroom that details what can and cannot be recycled. They used clipart to make their poster accessible for all students and staff. The boys discussed the posters with each class when delivering them.

Kitty Connection Collection

As cat lovers, these students wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of local cats. They decided to hold a “Kitty Collection” to benefit the Kitty Connection Animal Rescue in Medford. They created a flyer that was distributed to all the families at the Roberts. They hung posters around the school to publicize the drive. They collected wet and dry cat food, paper towels and cat toys. It was a great success!

The Recycling Initiative

The Recycling Initiative created informational posters for MHS classrooms about recycling. A poster was displayed above each recycling bin in every classroom, which includes a list of what can and cannot be recycled and the possible consequences when waste is not properly disposed. They also put an effort towards getting recycling bins in all the classrooms at Medford High.

Environmental Art of Medford

Seniors Shubhecchha Dhaurali and Niamh Keane were intrigued by artist Fells Day Artist who makes beautiful art pieces and sculptures out of trash people throw away on an everyday basis. To spread awareness of Medford’s carbon footprint and how we are fighting it, they made a Public Service Announcement which included an interview with the artist, their art, and also highlighted other environmental initiatives of Medford.

Medford High Electric Cars

Inspired by all the electric Tesla cars, Zain Saleem, Nico Casamassima, and Ben Whalen set out to make the option to buy an electric car more appealing and cost effective for those who attend and visit Medford High. They installed an electric car charger just outside of Bistro 489. "We realized that if we installed the charger near the restaurant it would be a great success and more appealing for customers who want to visit the Bistro, but are worried about having enough electricity to make it back home."

Make My Watershed

The Make My Watershed project focused on redirecting runoff water into a community garden. With the help of other students and faculty, the group pooled its efforts to make the best out of the rainwater that runs down the hill that the high school sits on top of. Before the watershed was installed, runoff would carry pollution into the drainage systems, which empties out in our local Mystic River.

Medford for Team Earth: Lunch Bags

This year, students Drexel Osborne and Madha Mankekar collected donations of lunch bags to give to students in Medford and eliminate the brown bag use in our schools. "We are strong advocates for the environment and all it has provided for us. We believe the environment doesn't deserve to be neglected and ignored." By using donated lunch bags, they were able to reduce the energy and resources needed to produce brown paper bags, as well as spreading awareness on the importance of saving and advocating for our planet.

Brooks Elementary School's Environmental-Safe Fun

For her CCSR project, Erin Tan created a fun, interactive program for students at the Brooks Elementary School that educated them about their environment. "I hope to inspire the youth of Medford to grow in their interest for the community and interact with their environment in a fun way."

Cleaning Up Macdonald Park

Distraught by all the litter they saw during their cross country practices, students Samuel Cluggish and Stefan Langshur ventured out to Macdonald park and picked up all of the plastic that was littering the waterfront area. In addition, they cleared out the area of excess sticks and dirt that has accumulated over the years, which allows for a cleaner environment for all the people who already frequent the park, and hopefully encourages more people who do not already to enjoy what it has to offer to come and explore.

Save the Pollinators Campaign

“Save the Pollinators” is a campaign aimed to spread awareness about the decreasing population of pollinators due to pollution and pesticides. Seniors Echo Heinze and Megan Hanlon set out to educate people about the importance of pollinators (bees in particular) and why they are necessary to our environment. They held an event at Medford High after school that educated the community about the importance of pollinators and worked to house a wild beehive box at Medford High School. "It is a warm, safe box with small tunnels for solitary bees to hibernate and live inside. These bees do not make comb or honey, so the only maintenance required is to ensure that the box remains in good condition." The two also created candles, crayons, and other beeswax products from their own honey bees’ wax to increase enthusiasm surrounding pollinators, and spread information about pollinator protection around the Medford community. City buildings were provided with contact information of beekeepers willing to rescue wild bee hives that must be removed in order to protect bees from extermination.

One Sapling at a Time

On Friday, December 7th, we had the opportunity to plant 10 Asian Pear trees, 10 blackberry bushes, and 10 raspberry bushes. Sophomore CCSR students Caelee Bouley, Prabidhi Rana, Emily Gaddy, and Jenna Matarazzo; and Sophomore Biology students Dorvelt Edouard, Henrique Ramos, Gabriela Papst Luiz, and Jose Avelar Serrano were able to assist in the planting. The students planted 3 of the 10 trees and all 10 blackberry bushes. We are continuing the project by creating a simple, low cost outdoor classroom space that teachers will be able to use to integrate the courtyard orchard and garden with their lessons. The classroom has Headmaster approval for a feasibility trial to start in May 2019.

Crayola Marker Recycling

This group was very passionate about recycling and helping the Earth. They found out that Crayola Markers has a recycling program that allows you to send back markers that no longer work. The group sent out a flyer and counted all the markers that were collected. We sent back 680 markers to be be recycled!

Recycling Letter to MPS Food Services

Sarah and Adam were concerned about all the plastic bags that were being used in the cafeteria. Every day students at the Roberts are served breakfast in clear plastic bags. These bags are not recyclable. They researched the effects of plastic on the environment and wrote a letter to Ms. Julie Bradley, the head of food services for Medford Public Schools. They requested that the use of plastic bags be stopped to adhere to the city’s plastic bag ordinance that is going into effect this summer. Ms. Bradley replied that they will no longer be using the bags next year.

Beautiful School/Beautiful Playground

These 3 students noticed that the back of the school needed some sprucing up. They planted some flowers in a planter and arranged for the tree in the back playground to get a covering of mulch to cover the roots and improve the look. These students enjoyed watering their flowers in the classroom during the winter and growing them from seeds. It was exciting for them to see the plants sprout and grow.

“Recycle, Trash, Compost” Sorting Game

Building upon the success of their book earlier in the year, this group of 5th-graders wanted to create a game to reinforce the recycling concepts taught in their book. Using only paper and markers, these girls created a sorting game for younger students to play during lunch. In this game, students sort the different objects into their appropriate bins: trash, recycling, compost, or electronics, as well as answering questions related to the topic. The group has been teaching 1st-graders how to play the game during lunch!

Medford Electronic Clean-Up

The Medford Electronic Clean-up is a bi-annual event to help reduce the amount of harmful e-waste that is disposed of incorrectly. We worked with the Mayor’s office to set up these cleanup days as a district-wide event. We accepted electronics such as old computers or computer parts, gaming consoles, phones, monitors, and many others. We then recycled most of the gathered technology to a local electronics recycling plant and reused other gathered technology for fun projects. The goal of the Medford Electronic Clean-up is to reduce toxic materials like mercury, lead, or cadmium, from poisoning the Earth.


Our world is in a crisis. Climate change is coming whether you like it or not and it must be faced head on. Canary is a brand made to help protect the environment. We made a stylish and comfortable clothing line with an environmental outlook. Canary included reusable products such as tote bags, QR-code stickers, etc, to further our environmental focus and promote sustainability in Medford. All profits went to several charities focused on fighting/lobbying for climate justice and disaster relief caused by global warming. We believe the fight for our futures is a long journey that will far overshadow Canary, but hope to spread the message, urgency, and power of the movement.

Butterfly Project

For the CCSR project fair this year, our group has decided to take it upon ourselves to make Medford High more appealing to the eye. Our courtyard has undergone various attempts to try to beautify it, but none have had an everlasting effect. We created a butterfly garden in the outside courtyard of our school. To do so, we purchased and planted the specific flowers that attract butterflies in the hopes of us having our own little garden. Attracting these butterflies will not only help the flowers already in the yard with their pollination, but it will also bring color into our very bland school. By maintaining our plot of land clean and healthy, we hope to make Medford High’s courtyard something completely different.

Park Clean-Up

Earth Day is an annual event recognized around the world on April 22 to help show support for environmental protection. However, my partner and I understood that it was nearly seven months away. Therefore we refused to wait long and we decided that for us to make a difference we would need to perform an action immediately. Environmental awareness means being aware and cautious of the environment and making choices that benefit the earth. It encourages a sense of bond to the natural world. This year as our project we decided to clean up the park. The purpose of cleaning up the park is to help the environment, give back, and send a simple message to the world. We can all make a difference if we put our differences aside and work toward a common goal.

Cootie Catcher Conservation

These second grade boys are concerned with our environment and especially concerned with increasing the understanding of how to protect endangered animals.  They wanted to inform their peers about different animals that were endangered in a different and fun way. So… they came up with making fortune tellers/cootie catchers that kids could play with at lunch.  During the course of the fall session, they identified 3 different animals(tigers, sharks and sea turtles), found facts about those animals, chose pictures of those animals and put all onto a template for a cootie catcher.  Next, came the folding. They folded about 50 different cootie catchers for each animal. The folding and opening game was placed strategically on all the elementary school lunch tables so that students could read the facts and see the pictures when they were done with lunch.

Composting in MHS Cafeterias

Our project aims to benefit the community of Medford by implementing a pilot composting program in the MHS cafeterias. We developed signs and other educational materials to promote this zero waste initiative before it officially starts. We worked with Food Services, Buildings and Grounds, and other administrators to encourage the creation of a long-lasting and sustainable program in the future. We also conducted a survey on the resources of the high school (number of dishwashers, recycling bins, etc). We visited other local schools to see how composting programs have succeeded at their locations. Last year, we received a $2500 grant from the Captain Planet Foundation to pay for bins, compostable bags, signage, and curbside pickups for our pilot program. We connected with enthusiastic students and faculty to foster success at MHS. Our project not only will make the school itself more eco-friendly, but will also encourage all participants to be more environmentally aware.

Buy a Bracelet, Save a Life

We raised money for Skyland Animal Sanctuary. We sold bracelets and buttons to raise the money. This money was specifically going to medical bills and special food for the animals that need it and of course other stuff. We wanted to do this project because animals are very important to us and we think their lives are worth saving. We also want to help them anyway we could,  and we knew that Skylands was a trustworthy animal sanctuary that is worth all of the money we give them.

Medford Environmental Project

Our project focused on the major environmental changes seen in Medford in the past 50 years. We informed people about how these changes could be either beneficial or harmful for years to come. The project combined information from both first and second hand sources. This information is essential to understand because other surrounding cities could get a few tips and pointers and lean towards using our environmental changes. Our final outcome was presented in City Hall in front of the Mayor and other important people in Medford. Our hope is to instill a spirit of environmental activism that transcends generations.

Medford Styrofoam Ban

Styrofoam is an incredibly harmful material, not only to the workers who produce it, but it poses a danger to our students and the environment as well. It does not biodegrade, and it ends up polluting our oceans and tainting our seafood. It also poses a humanitarian crisis, by making the factory workers who produce it extremely sick, as well as posing a threat of styrene poisoning by putting hot food on it. For my project, I hope to not just ban styrofoam in Medford High, but extend my project further. Many people are unaware of styrofoam’s threats, or simply do not care to fix this issue, and I hope by raising awareness and gaining support, I will be able to implement a Medford city-wide styrofoam ban.

Mystic River Cleanup

After noticing a great decrease in the quality of the water in the Mystic River, Capland Cho, Ricky Gomez, Justin Curcio, and Gabriel Suhm got together, working alongside the Mystic River Watershed Association, to plan on cleaning up the river and helping the environment. Their goal and purpose was to promote the cleaning and protecting of the environment, as well as to be a big part in restoring the Mystic River’s water quality. River cleanups are ongoing throughout the year and up to 25 people are able to sign up for a cleanup. Even with the ongoing pandemic, everything is socially distant and safety precautions are followed for safe cleanups.

Trash Free Campaign

For this year’s project, Lily Loren and Haley O’Rourke worked in collaboration with the Medford Mayor’s office, the DPW, and the Mystic Watershed Association to organize several different clean-ups around the Mystic River and picked up trash to prevent the water from being polluted. They gathered a group of volunteers and divided into smaller groups to address different areas around the river that needed to be cleaned up (wearing masks and following CDC social distance guidelines). The DPW provided grabbers, gloves, and trash bags to ensure that everything was picked up safely.

Plasticware Project

These eight student leaders have been working on a project to reduce the amount of plastic utensils used by recommending businesses to give plasticware out on a request only basis. This will help small businesses save money in addition to the reduction of plastic pollution and slow down environmental degradation. They conducted a survey with more than 270 people in the community. Through that survey, they found that nearly 70% of people rarely or never use plastic utensils. And that 85% would request to not receive plastic utensils if given the option to do so.

Wright's Pond Sanding and Painting Benches

As a group, the students collectively sanded and painted the benches at Wright’s Pond. The benches were chipped and weathered and needed a new coat of paint. Together, the students got work done with the help of Mr. Bailey, Mr. Skorker, and Anthony. This project allowed us to continue beautifying our wonderful city.

Seeds to Feed

Naomie Pierre, Baban Gill, Oprah Nkera, and Eleanor Nkera’s project is called Seeds to Feed. The group planted a harvest to donate to the Mystic Community Market. With these vegetables, they wanted to help by planting a variety of different fruits and vegetables so people have easy access to food. This pandemic left many families to worry about their next meals. Seeds to Feed donated over 60 pounds of fresh, local Asian Pears. Therefore, the group wanted to give them their help, and support during these tough times. This all happened at the garden in MHS, which is run by Mrs. Retta Smith.

Mystic River Bank Cleanup

The Mystic River Bank Project took place at MacDonald Park on November 7th, 2021. This project was organized by the members of CCSR and funded by The Mystic River Watershed Association, the Cummings Foundation, and the Krystle Campbell Community Betterment Project. From 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm, volunteers gathered by the river and picked up trash and other disposables from its banks, creating a cleaner habitat and environment.