Lucas Bowers, 12, worries that as a result of humankind’s actions, the Earth is suffering.
He worries about deforestation, and about animals becoming extinct.
But most of all, he worries that people don’t really care.
“I think the world is falling apart,” Lucas said. “Literally. And we want to do something about that.”
To combat the negative impacts of humanity on the world, Lucas and his friends — all sixth-graders at Reeves Middle School in Olympia — created an Earth Club. They gather weekly to discuss climate change and other environmental issues, and discuss ways they can help.
We don’t just want to raise money. We want to actually do something.
Olympia resident Eloise Hendrix, 11
On Saturday, six of the students joined an effort at Lacey’s Woodland Creek Community Park to plant Douglas firs that had been used as Christmas trees.
Kim Benedict, a Stream Team coordinator, said about 100 volunteers gathered at the park to plant about 70 trees.
The potted trees, standing about 5 feet tall, were purchased by local residents at Puget Sound Plants for $30. They were used as Christmas trees, and then donated to Stream Team for planting after the holidays.
People also were given the option of planting the trees on their own property.
Benedict said that while the main tree-planting effort takes place in Lacey, people come from all over Thurston County to help out.
“It’s really a multi-city effort,” Benedict said.
Lucas and his friends worked on planting a tree at the east end of the park. Caiden Cockrell, 11, dug the hole for the tree while Lucas and Anders Saylors-Olson, 11, freed the tree’s roots.
They were joined by three other Earth Club members: Eloise Hendrix, 11, Maggie Koontz, 11, and Emelyn Keller, 12.
Eloise said the group decided to come out and plant trees because it was a way to be physically involved in conservation efforts.
“We don’t just want to raise money,” Eloise said. “We want to actually do something.”
Lucas said he looks forward to checking out the trees after they’ve had a few years to grow.
“It will be nice to see how they’re doing,” Lucas said.