Juniors Start New Volunteering Club “The Ivy League”


On August 8, 2021, Decatur High School juniors Madelyn McElroy and Elise Marrah announced the creation of “The Ivy League”, a new club at Decatur High school. The purpose of the club is to remove ivy from trees at parks throughout the Decatur area. 

McElroy got the idea for the club from past experiences with her family. Over the years her family has volunteered with different organizations to pull ivy off of trees in local parks. 

“[In the past] it’s been fun and it’s really satisfying to rip the ivy off,” McElroy said.

According to volunteer organization Ivy Stewards, ivy tends to overtake a tree’s nutrient source causing trees to slowly die. It can also compromise the structure of the tree, thus making it unstable and dangerous.

To remove the ivy, club members will have to either pull it off or use clippers for the more invasive ivy roots. 

The interest meeting will be on Monday, Aug. 23 after school and the first clean-up is aimed to be on Sunday, Aug. 29. Roughly once a month, the club will get together at a local park and spend around an hour and a half taking away ivy from tree trunks and the surrounding areas. Other meetings will happen in a DHS classroom, where fundraising and club logistics will be covered. 

Some of the parks McElroy and Marrah have in mind are Legacy Park, Glenlake Park, McKoy Park in Oakhurst, and various elementary schools. According to McElroy, Legacy Park and other areas with extensive ivy invasions will most likely require multiple visits. 

McElroy and Marrah received a significant amount of support from DHS students who were interested in the club. As of Aug. 17, 26 members have joined the club.

“Hopefully it becomes something that Decatur carries on even after me and Elise graduate so hopefully we get some younger members who love it and want to carry it on,” McElroy said.