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Smithsburg student grounded in earthly concerns

Environmental club founded by Kurz making an impact

Environmental club founded by Kurz making an impact

February 27, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

SMITHSBURG - David Kurz said he wanted to join a club in his freshman year at Smithsburg High School, but none suited his interests.

So Kurz, 17, formed a club of his own.

Four years later, the Smithsburg High School Environmental Club has a dozen members.

"It started out small, but it kept growing," said Kurz, the Environmental Club's president. "It's definitely been rewarding. It's fun just to meet with other people in the school who are interested" in the environment, he said.

Since the club's inception, members have raised more than $2,000 to help improve the environment, Kurz said.

Among other things, the club has planted trees around Smithsburg and strengthened stream banks to prevent erosion, he said. The club also started a recycling drive at the high school.

This year, club members plan to stencil 10 to 15 storm drains in town with the words, "Don't Dump - Chesapeake Bay Drainage," to prevent people from discarding contaminants that could wind up in the Chesapeake Bay, Kurz said.

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"David is a very self-confident, reliable young man whose goal is to ensure that the issue of environmental awareness is spread throughout the community," said Alicia Robertson, Smithsburg High School Environmental Club adviser. "David works well with all of the club members and tends to lead by example, not by dictation."

Kurz said the club plans to raise money to pay for future projects by selling liquid fertilizer at Hagerstown Community College's Flower and Garden Show in mid-March.

Kurz also is trying to organize a trip to Costa Rica later this year for Environmental Club members, he said. Those who go on the trip will study animals and plants in Central America.

An enthusiast of biological sciences, Kurz said he plans to attend college in the fall to study ecology and environmental biology.

He said he hasn't yet committed to a college.

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