Southern School Notebook: Aug. 31

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SPHS graduate is land trust scholar

South Portland High School graduate Juliana Seltzer was awarded a $500 scholarship from the South Portland Land Trust.

The annual award is given to a South Portland High School senior who demonstratesoutstanding dedication to environmental stewardship.

Seltzer will be attending University of Massachusetts Lowell this fall to begin taking pre-veterinary courses and prepare for a career as a wildlife veterinarian, said a media release from the land trust. 

“The South Portland Land Trust Board of Directors created this scholarship program to support local students with a dedication to environmental stewardship,” said land trust program manager Dugan Murphy. “Juliana is a great match.”

Seltzer was recognized by the trust for her leadership in creating a usable green space on the South Portland High School campus. She has worked with the school’s Sustainability Committee for three years to develop a vision for a vacant interior courtyard and to raise over $40,000 to execute that vision.

The final design, driven by student and faculty input, includes native flower gardens, paths, seating, picnic tables and outdoor classroom space. Seltzer also helped coordinate Earth Week at the school, lining up workshops, guest speakers, and field trips for students to learn more about how to care for the Earth, said the release. 

The South Portland Land Trust is a nonprofit organization committed to linking neighborhoods and improving quality of life in South Portland by expanding the city’s trail network, conserving open space, and educating the public on issues related to trails and open space. They hold 16 properties and easements within the city of South Portland to preserve natural habitats, trail access, and open space for the public’s enjoyment, said the release. 

Scarborough Scout earns Silver Award

Girl Scouts of Maine announced that Riley Flannery of Scarborough earned her  Silver Award for a project completed this year, one of 19 Scouts recognized at Girl Scouts of Maine’s GIRL Celebration at the Waterville Opera House this spring.

Appalled by the huge amount of waste being produced at her local church,  Flannery worked with ecomaine to organize information sessions to address recycling and composting. She put together a “Green Team” for the church and set up a table to share more information about it with free magnets, pencils and recycling bins. 

Flannery also convinced church members to stop using plastic cutlery for church suppers. By switching to metal silverware, the church’s waste greatly decreased.

“By earning this award, these young women reflect leadership in all its forms,” said Joanne Crepeau, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Maine. “They saw a need in their communities and took action. Their extraordinary commitment is making the world a better place.”

Juliana Seltzer, a 2018 South Portland High School graduate, has been awarded a scholarship by the local land trust and will be attending University of Massachusetts Lowell this fall.