Youth environmental group works on composting at Sedro-Woolley High School

Thanks to the Skagit Valley Herald for writing a story about our Youth for the Environment and People! program offered to Skagit and Bellingham high school students in partnership with ReSources.  

A local student environmental group is helping to improve composting in schools. The group, Youth for the Environment and People!, was started by the nonprofit RE Sources and is managed by the North Cascades Institute. Each year, students take a topic — this year’s was food waste — and create a project to help their community.

Neil Smeltzer, the North Cascades Institute’s Youth Leadership Coordinator, said the program is an opportunity to help students lead environmental projects.

“I think students have a lot to contribute to climate solutions,” he said.

After brainstorming ideas, the group decided to help Sedro-Woolley High School improve its existing composting system.

“I feel like (composting) is one of the easiest ways to do something within your own community or even in your own house because it can be done with stuff you have, and it can be done with a group of people as well,” said sophomore Addie Felty.

Senior Arden Trachta-Magruder was part of the group that started the school’s composting program the previous year.

She said one of the problems was that students simply weren’t composting.

The group talked about why the program wasn’t working and realized that compost bins weren’t accessible throughout the school and that students just didn’t know enough about what went where.

“We realized that we needed to educate people more,” Trachta-Magruder said. “We’ve really just been trying to promote the understanding of (the compost process).”

Written by By EMMA FLETCHER-FRAZER and published on Dec 8, 2022. Read the rest of the story at

Leave a Comment