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Hastings Schools, Club Taking Environmental Charge

HASTINGS, N.Y. – Hastings High School Junior Berenice Tompkins took home a bunch of energy conservation ideas from a Regional Leadership Summit in March. With Earth Day around the corner, the 16-year-old is going well beyond the ideas.

Berenice, president of the Hastings High School Environmental Club, said the group is making a big push in the next few weeks to help raise awareness of environmental issues. She’s helping plan a school assembly to teach students throughout the school about some conservation techniques and hopes to bring in several environmental experts from around Hastings to share their ideas. But the environmental club is also making sure to get out for Earth Day, starting the group’s new garden at Hastings High School.

“We will be out planting on Friday again, which is really exciting,” Berenice said. “Any student who is interested in joining us is invited to come out.”

But local students who aren’t able to join the group Friday will be able to take a small step to help the environment every day.

“We’re about to start composting cafeteria scraps,” Berenice said.

After learning of techniques from other schools at the Regional Leadership Summit in Ossining, Berenice said she was proud to be at Hastings because of the latest steps the school district has taken to conserve energy in the schools.

“The schools recently did an energy performance contract that was really successful and I know they’re interested in doing another, which is really great,” she said. “They’ve also installed solar panels at the elementary school and I know they’re looking to the idea of doing geo-thermal projects and I think that would be really cool.”

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