By Annabelle Caraway
Alexandra Kosoff, a rising senior at Riverview High School and incoming president of its Environmental Club, has been organizing canoeing trips in the Valrico area. Her passion for protecting and learning about the environment led her to this idea.
Kosoff joined the Environmental Club in her freshman year and rejoined this past school year when the club was restarted. So far, she has participated in two successful trips and plans to have more throughout the duration of summer break.
Outside of club activities, Kosoff has been canoeing multiple times with friends and family and tries to be out in nature as often as possible.
“Canoeing allows our club to have bonding with members and helps us to familiarize ourselves with the nature around us. You can’t appreciate it if you haven’t been around it,” said Kosoff.
Club sponsor and AP Environmental Science Teacher Michael Pettyjohn further elaborated on the effects the canoeing trips bring.
“A lot of students have little experience interacting with nature. It’s those interactions that grow their genuine love for wildlife and the environment that play a vital role in them wanting to protect it. Also, it lets us evaluate the status of the river, the trash situation, invasive plants and animals and the quality of water. This is the foundation of how we can dedicate volunteer hours in cleaning it up,” said Pettyjohn.
In addition to the canoeing trips, Kosoff plans to create a miniature, native Florida ecosystem during her term as president. She would like to set up an aquarium with a drip irrigation system that includes native plants and animals.
To create more services throughout the upcoming school year, the club will look for them in nature preserves in addition to removing invasive species. Kosoff and the Environmental Club are also looking for local sponsors to help them expand the club and take their ideas to a greater scale. If interested, please contact Kosoff at 734-2457.