EcoArt successfully brings together community to pass Bill 13-22


Photo courtesy of @wchsecoart on Instagram

EcoArt club members wrote letters to the Montgomery County Council urging them to pass Bill 13-22 on November 10, 2022. Members used scraps of cardboard and paper in an effort to be eco-friendly!

By Brianna Frank, Advertising and Subscriptions Manager

Potential to influence changes at WCHS is endless, and EcoArt has taken that potential all the way to the Montgomery County Council. EcoArt is an eco-activist club at WCHS that creates recycled art and promotes environmental awareness. 

Their most recent project has been a letter-writing campaign in collaboration with a separate student-led environmental advocacy organization, Eco MoCo. Together, they worked diligently to pass Bill 13-22. 

“Bill 13-22 is a Montgomery County bill that states the requirement of issuing all-electric building standards for new construction by December 31, 2026,” EcoArt President and WCHS sophomore, Lumina Zhang said. “It is one of the first steps to a greener future and will lead to eventually electrifying all the buildings in Montgomery County, greatly reducing our carbon footprint.” 

Club members took scraps of cardboard, paper and other materials to write letters to the Montgomery County Council urging them to pass this groundbreaking piece of legislation. The postcards from EcoArt and Eco MoCo were later delivered to the County Council. 

“Eco MoCo started and spearheaded the Bill 13-22 Letter-Writing Campaign,” Zhang said. “Many school clubs reached out to help out with the letter-writing campaign. We have been spreading awareness about the bill through social media as well.” 

As a result, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed Maryland’s first comprehensive building decarbonization legislation on November 29, 2022. What once started as a small student-led project turned into a life-changing bill that will impact thousands in the Montgomery County area. 

“Electrifying Montgomery County is a crucial step toward addressing our climate crisis,” Councilmember Will Jawando said. “Under Bill 13-22, new construction will be cheaper to build, cheaper to operate, and safer for residents. This bill is truly a win-win for our environment, our residents, and our future.” 

Eco MoCo has also participated in Montgomery Park’s Latino Conservation Week Kick-Off Fiesta, hosted opportunities to learn from the head of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and a Montgomery County Board of Education Member, along with hosting trash pickups. They will continue to share more environmental advocacy opportunities and potentially have more collaborations with EcoArt. 

“EcoArt is a place where students can come together to create meaningful art projects, ones that are very fun and innovative, yet have a very valuable core objective in spreading awareness of the environment,” EcoArt Vice President and WCHS sophomore, Michelle Liu said. “I believe that climate change is a matter that gets overlooked often, however, through our efforts of creating environmental initiatives through an artistic form, we are able to actively make a difference in the environment that we live in.”

EcoArt and Eco MoCo both share numerous events that give students a chance to get involved in the community and create change. Students looking to learn more about leadership and participate in spreading environmental awareness can find more information on their Instagrams, @wchsecoart, and @ecomocoadvocacy. 

“As young people, we are the ones who will be most affected by climate change, so it is really important that we act now to reduce the impacts of it,” Zhang said.