Club Spotlight: LHS Conservation Club


LHS Conservation Club after a trash-clean up along the bike path. Image courtesy of the LHS Conservation Club.

Pranav Chivukula

From the mask mandate to the social distancing protocol, the 2020-21 school year presented various challenges. However, it was during this unprecedented school year that the Conservation Club was created.

Alex Ordentlich, a Lexington High School senior, founded LHS Conservation Club to protect the local environment, organizing weekly initiatives from trash clean-ups to invasive species removals to vernal pool projects. 

Ordentlich found that walking on local trails in Lexington and spending time in nature helped to tackle the monotony of remote learning. It was this sentiment that led to the creation of the Conservation Club with the hope of helping others do the same.

“I wanted to find a way to have people come together outside and make a difference in our community,” Ordenlich said. “That kind of struck me as … maybe we should create a conservation club.”

Despite starting off small with a few of Ordentlich’s friends, over the past two years, the Conservation Club has grown persistently.

“Alex approached us going into our junior year. He was like ‘Hey guys, I’m thinking of making a club, a conservation club,’” Jack Brenner, a senior and LHS Conservation Club member, said.

Ordentlich’s friends agreed to help execute his vision and they started advertising by word of mouth and signs. Although the club’s constant advertising became a small joke, it proved to be effective. Now, the club boasts over 100 members and is affiliated with the National Honor Society, allowing students to receive NHS hours for their contributions to the club.

“Once we got NHS-affiliated, we saw a huge jump because they helped us spread what it was about and what we were doing,” Brenner said.

The LHS Conservation Club also collaborates with the Lexington Town Conservation Department to find assignments around town, while also aiding the Department with any projects.

“The main problem with Lexington’s Conservation Division is that it’s a lot of volunteer-oriented projects, and so it’s very difficult to find those volunteers who are willing to help out,” Ordentlich said.

The LHS Conservation Club has been able to organize student volunteers to staff many local conservation projects, expediting the progress of these initiatives.

With some of Conservation Club’s founding members graduating this year, they reflected on the impact the club has had on them.

This summer, Brenner took a conservation job. According to him, the LHS Conservation Club equipped him with prior knowledge, which he was able to expand upon as an employee.

“I was always more into the ecology aspect of it [conservation] and when I got the job, I learned a whole lot more about plants, invasive species, looking at how the ecosystem works and the legal systems put in place,” Brenner said.

Ordentlich noted the interpersonal skills he has learned over the course of leading the club..

“I definitely think the leadership aspect of creating a club and organizing what to do and when to do, definitely give organizational skills and leadership skills,” Ordentlich said.

For the past two years, the Conservation Club has worked to improve the environment through student-involvement at LHS and collaboration with the Town’s Conservation Department. They are always looking for more student volunteers to help with these initiatives.