Chesnut Changer’s Report: Ariyon Malone, 5th Grader

Chesnut Changer's Report

Today we went searching for different kinds of leaves outside our school. We found some evergreen trees with spruce, pine, holly, and ivy leaves. We also found some deciduous trees with several other leaves including beech, magnolia, sycamore, field maple, and oak leaves. We also found a few pine cones. When we found all we needed we went back inside and made leaf glitter by crunching the leafs. After that we glued them on posters to give to our teachers. Ecology was great! We all had a good time.
Ariyon Malone

Sat., Nov. 8th: Dunwoody Recycles at Georgia Perimeter College

WHAT:  City of Dunwoody’s Annual Recycling Event 

WHEN: Saturday, November 8, 12 – 3 pm

WHO:  Dunwoody Residents Only with driver’s license or other proof of residency

WHERE:  Georgia Perimeter College, 2101 Womack Road, Parking Lot 11 (Traveling East on Womack Rd, turn right in to the first GPC entrance)

Items Accepted:

  • Aerosols
  • Adhesives, resins, and epoxies
  • Batteries
  • Paper documents to be shredded
  • Mercury debris/articles/devices
  • Lawn care products and pesticides
  • Automotive products
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Photo chemicals
  • Hobby and artist supplies
  • Paints and Paint-related products
  • Pharmaceuticals (no DEA controlled substances)
  • Cleaners and swimming pool chemicals

Items Not Accepted

  • Agricultural wastes
  • Ammunition
  • Bio-hazardous/bio-medical waste
  • Explosives
  • Radioactive materials
  • Poisons (rat, rodent, and insect repellents)
  • Syringes, IV bags, or other medical waste

Questions?  Contact or 678-382-6800

Chesnut Changers Become Predators, Prey and Migratory Fowl

Our first 4th/5th grader Ecology Club meeting was our best kick-off meeting yet, because of guest leader William Betz, who recently graduated UGA with a Bachelor’s of Science in Forestry. Known to many of the kids as “Billy,” the head lifeguard at the neighborhood pool, Mr. Betz was immediately enthusiastic when asked to teach our kids some of what he knows. He devised and led two games to teach us about animal survival skills and habitat loss.
First we played the Thicket Game, in which the “predator” must stand in one place, close his/her eyes and count to 30 while all the other “prey” hide. Whichever prey the predator can see from his/her vantage point is called out and becomes a predator for the next round, during which the prey must move closer to the predator. Mr. Betz led the pre-game discussion, during which the students named animal adaptations that help prey survive (i.e., camouflage, scaling trees, etc.). As we played, we paused to think about why prey would ever intentionally move closer to its predator (i.e., habitat loss), and what made some of the students acting as prey better at “staying alive” (i.e., staying still, wearing colors that blended in with the environment).
Next we moved to the lower field to become migratory water birds. For this Migration Headache game, Mr. Betz created three areas:  the nesting habitat, stopover habitat and wintering habitat. The kids gave examples of migratory water fowl (herons, cranes, etc.) and then transformed into their best bird-selves (one stretching the definition to become a dragon instead), flapping their wings and cawing as they migrated from the nesting habitat to the stopover habitat. At first, there were enough stopover bases for all the birds, but as the game progressed, habitat loss occurred, and some slightly tearful birds had no place to land. They cheered up when they became baby birds in the nesting habitat by the game’s end, at which point we discussed human events (draining a swamp for new construction, polluting water) and natural events (drought, avalanche, tsunami) that create habitat loss.

When Mr. Betz asked what humans could do to help, the kids suggested making laws to preserve natural wildlife habitats, creating national parks, and planting trees.

The Chesnut Changers thank Billy Betz for lending his expertise and time to make our first meeting so informative and action-packed!

Where Can You Buy Organic Seedlings Locally?

dcg plant saleWHAT: Dunwoody Community Garden Fall Plant Sale (Includes organically grown cool weather vegetables and perennials)

WHEN: Sunday, October  5, 1-4 pm

WHERE: Inside Brook Run Park


Arugula (Rocket and Wild)
Brussels Sprouts
Mustard Greens
Bok Choy
Lettuce (Several varieties)
Kale (Italian and Blue)


Japanese Maple Trees (small)
Candy Lily
Balloon Flower
Toad Lily

Earth Day Is in the Air(waves) at Chesnut

“Hello, my name is Spectro the Spark! I’m going to tell you how you can save me, and electricity!”

Thus began yesterday’s Earth Day PSA (public service announcement) from fourth and fifth grade Chesnut Changers, Adams Hollis and Akeem Smith.

Adams Hollis reminding his friends to save electricity

Adams Hollis reminding his friends to save electricity

Their group was one of four that formed at a recent 4th/5th Grade Ecology Club meeting, to create announcements about environmentally-friendly actions their peers could take.

After examining their own earth-friendly practices, the students chose three main subjects to promote:  conserving electricity, biking and growing your own food. This week, in support of Earth Day (April 22), several students performed their advertisements over the morning announcements. Special thanks to Ecology Club Teacher Sponsor Ms. Griffin for helping these students step into the spotlight.

“Save the Spark” by Akeem Smith, Adams Hollis and Audrey Mothershed

Akeem Smith takes the mike

Akeem Smith takes the mic

Hello, my name is Spectro the Spark! I’m going to tell you how you can save me and electricity!  First, you can turn off appliances when you’re not using them, such as a tablet or TV. Second, you can replace your light bulbs with the energy efficient ones or use solar panels. Third and finally, you can turn off the lights when you are not using them. These were a few ideas of how you can save me and electricity.




Bike Riding PSAs by Madison Wright, Courtney Butler, Sarah Lewallyn and Ryleigh Hixon

Audrey and Madison promote biking

Audrey and Madison promote biking

photo 1#1:  Riding a bike isn’t just for playing. You can also go places. Instead of driving you can ride a bike and get stronger. And when you ride a bike you can exercise more.

#2:  Student A: (SIGH) I wish I had a fun and healthy way to get to school. Student B:  Well, biking is one way! Biking helps the environment and it’s fun. Maybe you’d like to bike with a buddy. This is a healthy way to help the environment and have fun with your friend. Biking to school can help everyone and yourself have a healthy lifestyle. Student A: Thanks, I’ll try it tomorrow!

Sarah, Ryleigh and Courtney do a skit to encourage biking with a buddy to school

Sarah, Ryleigh and Courtney do a skit to encourage biking with a buddy to school

photo 1 copy

At-Home Action Icon canstockphoto2179142AT-HOME ACTION:  Go through the Chesnut Changers Sustainability Checklist as a family, and take your own Sustainability Pledge.

Chesnut Changer’s Report: Menna Michael, 4th Grader

Chesnut Changer's Report

On  Jan. 16, 2014, Ecology Club learned how to upcycle. Upcycling is when you take something you don’t need and make it useful.

We took an empty milk carton and made wallets. tetra paksFirst we cut the top and bottom and cleaned it out with a disinfectant wipe. Then we folded it into 3 creases. We pulled it back up and cut the sides to the first crease. We put duct tape on the sides and corners. Finally, we folded it in and on the creases, then put Velcro on it and you are done.

At-Home Action Icon canstockphoto2179142AT-HOME ACTION:  Upcycle any composite material container into a wallet or coin purse. To try this at home, use any composite material and follow these instructions.

Audrey, Adams, Ryleigh and Jaxon show their finished products

Audrey, Adams, Ryleigh and Jaxon show their finished products