GSMS students raise funds for rain-forest preservation |

GSMS students raise funds for rain-forest preservation

Community members and business owners are invited to join the school-wide Earth’s Birthday Project fund-raiser now under way at Glenwood Springs Middle School.

Some 400 students at the school are raising money to help preserve rain forest land in southern Paraguay in honor of Earth Day 2004. Each donation of $45 will purchase one acre of private land to become part of a permanent national preserve of tropical rain forest land in the San Rafael Conservation Area in the interior Atlantic Forest in Paraguay.

More information about the project can be found at

Local project sponsor GSMS PEAK teacher Megan Dean said the students hope to raise $2,000 to preserve almost 45 acres of rain forest. The homeroom class that brings in the most money will receive a congratulatory ice cream party.

A similar effort by Dean, librarian Tink Boyer and students at Basalt Elementary School two years ago helped to preserve 50 acres of rain forest.

To participate locally, business owners can volunteer to set a donation box on their front counters during the week of Earth Day 2004, which is Thursday, April 22. Businesses can arrange boxes to be delivered or individuals can donate to the project directly by contacting Dean at 384-5530 or

PEAK students at the Glenwood school kicked off the rain forest fund-raiser with a special performance in March that included rock music by students Meghan Cleland, Hunter McCullum and Josh Hen. The students revamped lyrics from a Ramones song to sing about the importance of saving the rain forests. Students also gave motivational speeches about how to make a difference personally for the Earth and performed a pantomime of the Great Kapok Tree story to illustrate the struggle between human use and habitat preservation.

The Earth’s Birthday Project fund-raiser is just one of many ways local students in the Roaring Fork School District are volunteering and learning about Earth Day 2004.

The Atlantic Forest is one of the most richly diverse and most threatened ecosystems in the world. The forest currently is ranked as one of the top five global hot spots of endangered biodiversity, according to the Earth’s Birthday Project Web site.

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