Five junior students from Flagler Palm Coast High School targeted a global challenge in the spring of 2006: the amount of carbon dioxide output in their community. This astute and prolific team began to research this topic during the summer of 2006. Seeing a need for change in their community, they brainstormed challenges, created a mission statement and began to brainstorm solutions.
In the fall of 2006, this team of five dedicated their senior year to a call to action: they formed a conservation group that would impact their community more than any group member could ever imagine. Project NRG (Natural Resource Growth) was created with a mission to increase conservation of energy output in the community, so that the integrity of the environment will not be compromised. Since its inception this group has put in over 850 collective volunteer hours, with many more to come.
Activities of the group have included research, brainstorming solutions, developed criteria to assess and evaluate their solutions, created an Action Plan to implement their most promising solutions and garnered support for their plan. One of their first steps was to develop and publish 4,150 brochures with helpful energy tips and with the approval of the school's administrative staff and the school district's county office, distributed them to the faculty and staff in all of the Flagler County schools and students in science classes. The partnered with associate superintendent and Director of Student Services for Flagler County, Jeff Miller, and initiated an energy commission and incentive program, district wide, in a valiant effort to reduce the amount of energy used by the schools. Additionally, they helped to form a county wide energy commission.
The group also created presentations, and an iMovie on global warming which they took to the school board and asked them to consider implementing pilot program utilizing solar panels on existing buildings as energy conservation measures. They also have plans to meet with key land developers in the community to promote the need for solar housing in the community.
What is even more extraordinary is that this group of agents of change do all this work in addition to their full time class loads, honors courses, International Baccalaureate and Advance Placement class demands, ROTC projects, golf and tennis practices, piano lessons, clubs and teen socials, jobs held in the community, and much more! This is truly an extraordinary group of 5. Between August of 2006 and February 2007 the Flagler County School District saved well over $150,000 on utilities thanks to conservation efforts!