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Decatur recognizes students for their work removing invasive plants at McKoy Park 

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Decatur recognizes students for their work removing invasive plants at McKoy Park 

(back, left to right) Decatur High School Ivy League members Sam Beran, Miles Floyd, (front row) Asher Pilvinsky, Amelia Pousner and teacher sponsor Michael Nunley pose with Facilities Operations Manager Kim Whatley (far left) after receiving a certificate of appreciation from the city of Decatur on Dec. 4, 2023. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — During the Decatur City Commission meeting on Dec. 4, Mayor Patti Garrett presented a certificate of appreciation to the Decatur High School Ivy League for their work removing invasive plants at McKoy Park.

The Ivy League’s efforts showed their commitment to environmental conservation and contributed significantly to the community’s natural beauty, Garrett said.  

“The invasive species can pose a serious threat to our native ecosystems and the Ivy League’s initiative in removing them will undoubtedly have a lasting positive impact,” Garrett said. 

The club began in 2021 and started as an activity that allowed Decatur High School students to get outside, do something and see their friends during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Michael Nunley, the teacher sponsor for the club. 

“What started as that has turned into something that kids are really interested in. It’s been going on for a couple of years now where now we’re getting out, and it’s gotten bigger and bigger and better. We’re just happy to keep it going,” Nunley said. 

Garrett also added the club’s work also highlights the importance of nurturing and protecting local greenspaces. 

“The numerous hours and unwavering enthusiasm put forth by the Ivy League members exemplify the power of community involvement and commitment to the cause of ecological preservation,” she said. “We are grateful for the Decatur High School Ivy League’s dedication to making McKoy Park a more vibrant and sustainable environment.”

DHS student Miles Floyd, a co-president of Ivy League, said the club meets once a month to remove invasive plants at McKoy Park. 

“I’ve got a busy schedule just like every other high schooler, and it opens up volunteer opportunities for other high schoolers as well as ourselves and helps our community by doing a couple hours every single month and as you’ve seen it’s made a big impact and has done a whole lot,” Floyd said. 

Amelia Pousner, co-president of Ivy League, also said the club has had an incredible group of motivated students who participate in the monthly cleanups. 

“We love that we get to help ensure the longevity of Decatur’s greenspaces including parks, nature preserves and all other sorts of community facilities,” Pousner said.

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