Heights High clubs value service and sustainability

Heights High Project Build students complete the foundation of a green house for Community Green House Partners in the Hough neighborhood.

Project Build and the Environmental Club focus on sustainability and community service, providing hands-on volunteer opportunities for students at Cleveland Heights High School. Senior Ariel Travis, a leader in both clubs, seeks to create more service opportunities at the high school. “Both clubs share the same vision and have similar goals. I believe we can do great things together,” Travis said.

Started in October 2011 by Travis and math teacher/club advisor Chris Sutton, Project Build has attracted over 100 volunteers and is one of the fastest-growing clubs on campus.

In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Project Build members have volunteered on more than fifteen build dates, typically one each week. They also work with Community Greenhouse Partners to build greenhouses in the Hough neighborhood. Another long-term project is repairing foreclosed homes in Cleveland Heights.

Project Build is currently holding a “beard” fundraiser. Administrators have joined teams in a competition to grow beards for donations. Team Punk has Marc Aden (REAL principal), Joe Nohra (Mosaic principal), and Haethem Rasul (lead counselor). Team Pushy has Nick Petty (Renaissance principal), James Reed (freshman principal) and Marc Engoglia (Legacy principal).

Science teacher Steve Warner started the Environmental Club in 2010. That year, the club partnered with University Heights senior citizens to break ground for community gardens on the Delisle Options Complex property. During the 2011–12 school year, students tested the soil and learned how to improve its quality. “The kids are happy to be doing physical work at the garden as well as learning about gardening in general,” Warner said. “This year students started seeds for over two hundred pepper and tomato plants to transplant to the garden.”

The club has also worked on bike art for the garden, which will be part of an art show at the Ohio City Bicycle Coop on May 18. Using old bikes from the Coop, members are working with auto collision student welders to create art to decorate the gardens. 


The Environmental Club plans to collaborate with Paige Baublitz-Watkins, Boulevard Elementary teacher, and her students, documenting the amount of litter on Lee Road between Heights High and Boulevard Elementary School, and addressing the problem. 

Both Project Build and the Environmental Club are contributing in real ways to their school and the community by stressing the need for sustainable practices. For more information about the clubs, visit their websites: www.project-build.org and www.chuh.org/schools/chhs/clubs-extracurriculars/environmental-club.

Ilona Eke

Ilona Eke is a sophomore at Heights High and is a member of the Environmental Club and Project Build. She plays viola in the Heights Symphony and in the Contemporary Youth Orchestra.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 1:51 PM, 05.02.2012