Earth Day with Kenwood’s Environmental Nestwork Club


Jesie Jumawid

Members of K.E.N. install bluebird boxes as part of their mission to improve the environment.

Avianna Franklin

Kenwood High School is an eastern Baltimore County school with magnet programs in Sports Science and International Baccalaureate but they offer so much more than those two choices for students to explore their passions and interests.

One of those passions students can explore more is their passion for taking care of the environment. Kenwood’s green culture was developed in 2016 as a result of a group of AP Government students starting an environmental club and calling it Kenwood Environmental Nestwork or K.E.N.

Members immediately established the goal of becoming a Maryland Green School. Since 2016, K.E.N.’s top five accomplishments are their cafeteria composting program which became a pilot program in other BCPS schools, their participation in the We Schools Presentation where they share their environmental stewardship efforts with a student-led, international organization focused on student civic action, their classroom seed starts program where students grow over 800 plants from seeds to sell each year, creating a “No Mow Zone” on campus to prevent runoff into storm drains and sport courts, and their installations of four bluebird houses that in which 10 clutches of  birds successfully nested.

When the school was undergoing major renovations to the lighting and water systems  K.E.N. members met with project supervisors and advocated for high efficiency lighting and water.  After their hard work to make Kenwood a Green School, they were awarded Green School status in 2018. In the four years since then, things have really taken off for the Bluebird environmentalist.  K.E.N. membership expanded, as did the scope of their activities.

“We built bluebird houses, mason bee habitats, increased the number of raised beds, installed a No Mow Zone, expanded our recycling efforts, and increased our partnerships with outside organizations. Though COVID presented challenges,  K.E.N. students stepped up and created podcasts, and did virtual workshops on seed starting for elementary and middle school green clubs,” shared K.E.N. advisor Mr. Woodward. Kenwood graduate Jesie Jumawid was also featured with WE Schools for her work with Kenwood’s environmental club.

As part of this year’s Earth Day, K.E.N. will be sponsoring a sunflower contest to see who can grow the tallest sunflower in their classroom.  Members of K.E.N. will drop off a pot of soil and sunflower seeds on Earth Day to interested classrooms. The class will plant the seeds, grow their plant, name it, and create a little slice of heaven for their seedling in their room.  The contest runs from Earth Day to June 3rd.

Come get your plants for this season at Kenwood Saturday April 23.

During second period on Earth Day their will be a scheduled campus cleanup for any classes to assist K.E.N. members in cleaning up their school campus.

K.E.N members will spend the afternoon of Earth Day getting the over 750 plants they’ve grown for their annual plant sale on Saturday, April 23 from 9-1.

K.E.N also anticipates receiving their Green School recertification to finish off this year’s accomplishments. An idea from just six short years ago has bloomed into a growing success here on Kenwood’s campus.