Raiders 4 Wildlife: “A great opportunity to learn more about the environment!”


Photo Courtesy of Ella Mauer

Camryn Evans, Staff Writer

  Raiders 4 Wildlife, a club newly-founded by seniors Ella Mauer, Brigitte Priel, and Reese Priel, is devoted to protecting the local environment, while also keeping in mind the motivations students may have. The club offers many opportunities for community service hours, something many students are searching for. 

  “We thought our school was lacking opportunities for service,” Priel said.. “It’s hard to get [community service] hours. I know I struggled with that. So [we] wanted an opportunity for all students to be able to get [community service hours].” 

  When it comes to promoting a healthy environment, this isn’t the first club at SPFHS to do so.  Scotch Plains High School environmental science teacher Zachary Rittner runs Go Green Initiative, another club within the school with a similar message. Given his position at SPFHS and his passion for environmental protection, he was glad to be the staff advisor for the club.

  “We’re all really interested and very passionate about wildlife conservation,” Rittner told The Fanscotian. “We wanted to bring a little bit of that into our school community.”

  Raiders 4 Wildlife is working together with Friends of Brightwood Park, which is a non-profit organization working to preserve Brightwood Park, located in Westfield, as a Nature Preserve.

  “[Raiders 4 Wildlife wants] to propose some different ways to support wildlife [in Brightwood Park],” Rittner said. “[The club] offers students an opportunity to really get involved in a meaningful way with their environment.”

  Creating a club where students were very active and enthusiastic about helping the environment was an important part in the club that the founders really wanted to emphasize. 

  “We wanted [a club] where students could actually go out and get their hands dirty instead of learning about it,” Priel said. “It’s different being in the club versus [being] an active participant. If we [have] a lot of active participants, we could do a lot more.”

  As significant as it is to be involved with your environment, it’s still equally important to be educated about how you can make a positive impact in your community. 

  “There’s a lot about wildlife that people may not know,” Mauer said.. “So [Raiders 4 Wildlife] wants to really educate people on how we can really help locally.”

  “I think it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the environment and to learn more about wildlife,” Rittner said. “It’s so easy to think about it…like ‘That doesn’t really impact me.’ But when you do stop and look around you, you realize there’s a tremendous amount of biodiversity around us.” 

  Raiders 4 Wildlife meets every other Wednesday after school. New members are encouraged by both the founders and Mr. Rittner, so stop by in room 130!