Georgia Feldman: A First Step Toward Saving the World

Editor’s note:  Sturgeon Bay High School student Georgia Feldman was awarded a Lowenstine Honors Scholarship to attend Conserve School in Land O’ Lakes for the fall semester of 2018. This scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis to students who demonstrate exemplary academic achievement, character and a commitment to environmental stewardship. The Pulse asked Feldman shortly after the announcement to write about her upcoming adventure.

Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world. I didn’t know exactly how, but I could figure that out later. With a little determination and hard work, I was going to save us all.

If my mother was looking for me when I was little, she could find me in one of two places – either sitting quietly devouring a book or climbing a tree. And yes, on occasion she would find me doing both at the same time. Reading a book in a tree was my happy place. I was a kid with my eyes on the stars and I was going to change the world.

My love of the outdoors combined with my hunger for the adventure I found in those books is a big reason I applied to Conserve School. I decided that my part of saving the world was going to be focused on the environment and literally saving the planet.

It’s no surprise that I picked this particular topic, really. My dad [Jason Feldman of Jason Feldman Landscapes] is a landscape designer dedicated to making the earth a more beautiful place. My mom [Holly Feldman, director of Development and Public Relations of Northern Sky Theater] always schlepped us to her Northern Sky shows outside among the pines until we learned to crave the cheesy love stories mixed cleverly with a Wisconsin history lesson, all wrapped in a bow of ingeniously composed music. Even squirmy little kids like me and my siblings could find the power to sit relatively still through a performance.

A 2006 aerial view of the Conserve School campus in the foreground and the Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area in the background, in Land O’ Lakes, Wis. Photo by Lakeland Aerial Photography.

My parents, busy juggling three children in the circus that was their life, always found the time to expose us to the natural wonders that Door County offers. So, with the perfect recipe of supportive parents and a supportive community, a little bit of drive, and the perfect outdoor scenery as a backdrop, I started taking steps toward accomplishing my dream.

I will admit, as I headed into high school, a dose of reality took a number on my “save the world” spirit. But even though I realized that the world was a tad bigger than I thought, and saving the whole entire thing was a bit more difficult than I previously envisioned, I decided that, rather than give up, I would just take the first step and see where that would take me.

When I learned of Conserve School, I knew I wanted that to be my first step. Conserve offers many opportunities that I wouldn’t have access to otherwise. The curriculum includes AP Environmental Science, American Literature and the Land, Environmental Citizenship, and Environmental Stewardship. It sounded like it was right up my alley, particularly the liberal application of the word environment.

Beyond the education I’ll receive, there is that opportunity for adventure. Not only will it be a chance for me to meet new people, it will be a chance to meet like-minded people who I can band together with in a “saving the earth” Justice League.

I love Sturgeon Bay and its small town charm, but it is a small town. I’ve always felt there’s more I need to see. I felt this opportunity would expand my horizons intellectually and socially.

Not only did the school require good grades and the ability to be self-motivated, but I needed to show a record of involvement in environmental or conservation causes. It was then that I joined the Greenhouse Committee at Sturgeon Bay High School and began spending my summers working for Crossroads at Big Creek. I found out that my hard work paid off on March 19, a date that was circled in my calendar for months.

However, despite my work leading up to this point, despite attending Prospective Student Day, despite having an extensive packing list, and no matter how much I scour the website for information, there is a lot I don’t know about what this opportunity has in store.

I hope I discover more about where my talents lie and gain a clearer vision of what my future might hold. I hope I can broaden my horizons. After all, it’s difficult to save the world from behind a book in a tree.

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