Arbutus Middle School says, “Sorry Kermit! It’s Easy Being Green!”

BCPS Spotlight
Tiffany Powell, Emma Runge, Deric Collins, and Brian Schwinn (clockwise from top left)

Arbutus Middle School has its eyes set on becoming a Green School.

In addition to utilizing less bulletin board paper to cover corkboards in classrooms, teachers and students are thinking outside the box as the school begins its trek toward becoming a Green School. Teachers Karen Shannon and Meghan Maher and their students ensure that recyclable materials make it into the school-wide recycle bin. Students read a “Green Tip of the Week” on the announcements in the morning. Michael Guarraia, science department chair, and several of his science teachers not only created a Green School Committee for teachers, but they also began a Green School Club.

BCPS Spotlight
Julia Corns, Naomi Corns, Kapreeia Mackin, and Logan McClarren

The Green School Club members are wrapping up their first green project. The students built, painted, and are going to install bluebird houses. The wood for the bluebird houses came from a garage that was built in 1939. The Catonsville garage was being destroyed, and Guarraia’s “green-colored glasses” saw an opportunity to salvage the wood and reuse it. He pre-cut the reclaimed wood and the students assembled and painted the birdhouses.

Bluebirds, a native, cavity-dwelling species enjoy gobbling up mosquitoes. Sadly, due to urban sprawl, their natural habitats (holes in dead trees left by woodpeckers) are diminishing. Hopefully, with the installation of the bluebird boxes, bluebirds will be encouraged to nest and make the Arbutus Middle School campus their new home.

Once installed, students will monitor the birdhouses throughout the year. They will track and graph the number of offspring found in each birdhouse hoping the numbers will soar.

BCPS Spotlight
Shawntay Perdue

Storm drain stenciling is next on Arbutus Middle School’s “Green List.” Students will use paint to stencil “Do not dump. Drains to Chesapeake Bay” along neighborhood storm drains. They will learn what it means to live in a watershed and how everything from fertilizers to sediment runoff impacts the Bay.

Students are also working on a $3,000 grant that will be used to create several rain gardens on the Arbutus Middle campus. The money will be used toward purchasing native plants, soil, and mulch. The students are excited about creating a native habitat that will also filter and slow down the flow of water during heavy rains and keep excess sediment from running off into storm drains.

Once the gardens are established, maybe Kermit will agree with Arbutus Middle that it’s easy being green.

BCPS Spotlight
Logan McClarren, Naomi Corns, and Julia Corns








BCPS Spotlight
Ananda Hall and Samantha Holton








BCPS Spotlight
Deric Collins, Bryan Schwinn, and Tiffany Powell








BCPS Spotlight
Kapreeia Mackin and Shawntay Perdue









Story by Shannon Canal, Good News Ambassador and teacher mentor, Arbutus Middle School. Photos courtesy of Arbutus Middle School
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