Columbus-Area Teens Sign on to Help State's Environmental Conservation Efforts

12 students from Central Ohio high schools have joined the Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation Teen Advisory Council.

Julanne Hohbach
Columbus Parent
The Upper Falls at Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park

Forty-two students from 23 counties have joined the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation Teen Advisory Council this school year to provide insights from young people on the department’s conservation efforts. Students serve at least a year and devote about 10 hours per quarter to the ConTAC initiative.

Franklin County has the largest representation at nine students. The 12 new Central Ohio participants and their high schools, from Franklin and surrounding counties, include:

  • Grace Kruse, Bloom Carroll
  •  Iris Mark, Upper Arlington
  • Lily McGraw, New Albany
  • Jude Mirghani, Olentangy Orange
  • Varun Ramanujam, Dublin Jerome
  • Peyton Readler, Columbus School for Girls
  • Dana Stan, New Albany
  • Halle Tebbe, Dublin Coffman
  • Alexander Torres, Hilliard Davidson
  • Olivia Went, Dublin Jerome
  • Katelyn Williamson, Whetstone High School/Fort Hayes Career Center
  • Aida Yoder, Upper Arlington

Eighteen previously appointed students also serve on the council. The students’ past projects have included stream clean-ups, social media efforts, assisting the Great Lakes Commission with presentations and more, according to ODNR.

Learn more about ConTAC at

A shorter version of this story appears in “Parent Pulse” in the Fall 2021 issue of Columbus Parent.