21.2 square miles of land make up the town of Norwell, and it is up to conservationist groups to maintain all of it. This, while a daunting task for anyone, was hopefully made easier for workers in Norwell, for starting this year and hopefully continuing on into future years, the sophomore class at Norwell High School participated in “Norwell Cares Day”. “Norwell Cares Day”, as you can infer from the name, is a day set aside for students at Norwell High School to show how much they care for the community, from planting flowers at the James Library, to being a part of a drum circle with some senior citizens.
While in past years this day has only been blocked off for Freshmen kick off day and all other students run normal schedules, this year it was different. On September 21st, all grades at Norwell High school participated in some sort of activity outside of the normally scheduled day. Freshmen and junior “homeroom parents” participated in Freshman kick of day per usual, sophomores completed acts of kindness and community service around the town, juniors went to the elementary schools to read to the kids or help the teachers, and seniors hosted the senior citizens of Norwell at the high school, playing games and listening to stories from each other’s childhood.
With each student having a different experience during “Norwell Cares Day”, as a member of the sophomore class, I can only give an accurate account as to our tasks of the day, some of which included kayaking around Jacobs pond picking up trash, others building a banjo from scratch. With lots of groups and peoples wanting students help around Norwell that day, we were broken up by homeroom and were sent to a specific part of Norwell to help in whatever way we could, either through beautifying, repairing, or cleaning up a certain area of the town.
For example, one of the jobs set aside for a homeroom of the sophomore class was to build land bridges through the marshy areas of Miller Woods to make the paths usable in all four seasons, not just the drier months. Luckily enough, my homeroom was assigned this dirty job. While other homerooms had fun kayaking around Jacobs Pond,
helping at Norwell Farms, or washing windows, we spent the day surrounded by bees, poison ivy, mud, and the awful odor of the skunk cabbage. Upon getting to Miller Woods and making the trek to a muddy, marshy area with just some wood and supplies, it’s safe to say we were quite overwhelmed, but with the help of conservation head, Nancy, we were given an idea of what needed to be done, and then left to our own devices. Eventually splitting up into three groups, we each tackled a different area of the marsh where a land bridge needed to be installed. Each group would struggle to find the right place to put the bridge, and once you found a spot it somehow wasn’t good enough. Either it was too low for the rising water levels of the water seasons or it was slightly off balance. These two examples, along with multiple others, would cause for the group to need to create a whole new plan of how to install the bridge. While it took us almost all day to install 6 land bridges in the marsh, we realized how much of an impact we made on the town of Norwell, and we were proud of it. Not only were we able to connect miles and miles of trails throughout Norwell with these bridges, we were also able to make the lives of these volunteer workers a lot easier. All in all, while each homeroom completed a very different task that day, some more strenuous than others, we all worked together to give back to our town of Norwell, truly giving meaning to the ideals of Norwell High School and what “Norwell Cares Day” should be all about.