Art of Aging: Protecting the environment

PHILADELPHIA -- Senior volunteers are keeping their eyes, and instruments, trained on the local water supply.

They're called the Center in the Park Senior Environment Corps and their mission is to protect the environment for future generations.

Frederick Lewis is Senior Environmental Corps, Volunteer Coordinator

He says, "We want to set an example for our children so that they can know that growing old is not something to be afraid of."

The seniors work with students from local schools. On this day, it was a field session at Chestnut Hill College with 5th graders from the John B. Kelly Elementary School.

David Schogel is a SEC Volunteer.

"They're our future leaders so we want to make sure they're educated. We want to pique their interest in science."

Dyson Thomas is a 5th Grader at the John B. Kelly School.

"I learned that animals always need water to survive," said Dyson.

The seniors serve as educators, but also mentors.

Dottie Baumgarten, Educator - Philadelphia Water Department said, "The young people who come out here are finding seniors who are from their community who they look up to who are scientists."

Jayleen Santana, a 5th Grade, at the John B. Kelly School said, "I learned how to test for iron, and I see how to look for creatures in the creek."

Audrey Johnson has been a SEC Volunteer for 14 years.

"It's really thrilling to see them get involved. And they go home and teach their parents," she said.

For the seniors, it's about getting involved in something bigger than themselves.

Helping save the planet while helping mold the next generation.

Another volunteer, Eleanor Lundy-Wade says, "Not only does it make me feel good, but it's a good use of my time, because I can look back and see that I've made a difference."

For more programs for seniors, visit our Art of Aging section.