Students and adults representing the Coral Reef Elementary Green Team were recognized for their efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags within the village by the Palmetto Bay Village Council on June 5.
Councilmember (Seat 3) Larissa Siegel Lara made the presentation in council chambers before the regular monthly meeting.
The students of the Green Team had submitted a petition to the Village of Palmetto Bay Council asking that the village do everything it can do to ban the use of plastic shopping bags and work together with merchants to promote paper and re-usable bags.
The group also obtained 605 signatures of students from Coral Reef Elementary supporting the petition and pledging to remind parents to bring reusable bags whenever and wherever they shop and to individually encourage merchants to promote reusable paper bags.
The students developed a public service announcement to help others learn of the impact of plastic shopping bags on oceans and marine life. The CRE Green Team was chosen as a finalist for the Miami-Dade County Council PTA/PTSA 2016-17 Environmental Award. – “Kids are 25 percent of the population and 100 percent of the future.”
The proclamation read in part: “I, Eugene Flinn, mayor of the Village of Palmetto Bay, together with the village council, am proud to recognize the Coral Reef Elementary Green Team, and their outstanding efforts to enhance the environment by reducing the use of plastic shopping bags within Palmetto Bay. We urge all citizens and retailers to join the Green Team and remember to use reusable shopping bags at all retail establishments.”
Both the proclamation and a certificate of recognition acknowledged the work of Green Team PTA chair Erica Watts, PTA parent leads Veronica Sosa Conley, Dezirae Arias and Robert Upshaw, and students Matthew Boch, Nico Cerda, Lucas Cerda, Gabriel Chiu Hung, Castan Conley, Vivian Diep, Saniah Develasco, Roy Falcone, Nicole Garcia, Shane Hartzell, Ava Hidalgo, Daneris Jimenez, A’Nyla Johnson, Gustavo Obando, Luis Oviedo, Jalen Mitchell, Miguel Monroy Flores, Angelina Morales, Isabel Munyon, Joshua Paz, Preston Renard, Benjamin Rivera, Ayanna Robinson, Marcus Rosado, Yitzchak Shapiro, Nadiv Shapiro, Hunter Sosa, Keira Upshaw, Madeline Volpe, Dwight Whipple and Witney Williams.
Siegel Lara later said she was impressed by the group.
“Working with the energy of the students and team leaders was amazing,” the commissioner said. “Their willingness to learn and engage with government to help protect the environment was inspiring. This kind of positive involvement is great for our community.”