Cascade club offers small steps — with a big impact — to combat climate action


Lizzy Wan

Cascade Climate Action club cleans up trash at Coyote Point on Oct. 23.

Lizzy Wan, Diversity Coordinator

Although 7 months old, the Cascade Climate Action club has already picked up nearly 100 pounds of trash in three cleanups at Coyote Point, Marina Lagoon and BHS. 

The club was started by juniors Stella Wettan and Cora Haggarty to get students involved in the climate crisis through education, empowerment and action. They want students to discuss issues facing the planet but also be part of the solution. 

“Originally, Cora and I did not intend to make Cascade Climate Action an in-school club; we created it over the summer, hoping to reach both middle school and high school students through educational outreach and volunteer opportunities outside of school,” Wettan said. “We eventually decided bringing our project to Burlingame High School would be an effective way to connect with students and facilitate events during school hours.”

They chose “cascade” as their club name for its double meaning. Cascade, another word for a waterfall, symbolizes their effort to protect nature’s natural beauties. Additionally, something that “cascades” creates a ripple effect. In the long run, Haggarty and Wettan hope  their club can inspire broader climate action.

Outside of their regular clean-ups, the club hosts a meeting every Tuesday to plan upcoming events and discuss current events revolving around climate change as a club. However, the club doesn’t require interested volunteers to join meetings, prioritizing attendance at the clean-ups.  

“Everyone has a shared interest in our goals and taking care of the environment, of course, and everyone’s just amazing,” Haggarty said. 

In addition to the clean-ups, the club also has a blog where they encourage students to write various articles about climate issues that they care about. Articles on their blog range from profiles of guest speakers to op-eds that speak to the biggest issues surrounding climate change.    

Although Haggarty and Wettan started the blog, various club members contribute to it as an alternative to the clean-ups. This allows students to be involved in more than one way and allows all types of club members to find where they fit in, they said.

The club also encourages members to contribute their own talents and passions. Junior Mason Rosales, for instance, brings his GoPro to clean-ups and creates montage-style videos to post on the Cascade Club Instagram account. 

“All the garbage we pick up just keeps me coming back because it shows we’re doing something,” Rosales said.