An Eighth Grader’s Quest to Protect the Great Lakes through Homemade Jewelry

Lucy Jones, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Traverse City West Middle School, cares enough about protecting the Great Lakes to donate sales of her Up North Jewelry to FLOW, which is working with you to keep the Great Lakes public and protected for all. Click here to check out her website.

FLOW thrives on these creative collaborations with supporters, activists, and artists of all ages. We spoke with Lucy about what inspired this collaboration.

FLOW: How, or in what ways, are you learning in school about protecting freshwater and the Great Lakes?

Lucy Jones: In my classes at school, we do not learn enough about protecting freshwater or our Great Lakes. In fact, the absence of education in this area is very surprising. I really hope that in the future we will be able to learn more about how to protect our Great Lakes. 

FLOW: What kind of jewelry do you make, and what inspired this craft?

Lucy Jones: I make beaded bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. I also make waterproof stickers. I have been making jewelry from a very young age. When I was 8, I started making Petoskey stone necklaces. Since then, I have made many different crafts, and during the summer I started making bracelets. From there it grew to necklaces, earrings, and stickers!

FLOW: What prompted you to support FLOW with sales of your jewelry? What about FLOW resonated with you?

Lucy Jones: Ever since I can remember, protecting the environment has been a very big part of my life. My parents and grandparents are big environmentalists. Growing up I always remember it being instilled in my brain how important protecting the environment is. So when I began researching about where I wanted to donate part of my profit to, I found FLOW, and knew that it was the right choice.

FLOW: What are your favorite ways, and places, to enjoy our Great Lakes?

Lucy Jones: My family loves paddle boarding, swimming, tubing, canoeing, and kayaking. I love to swim in the summer in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. All of our Great Lakes are so beautiful!

FLOW: As a young environmental leader, what messages do you have for policymakers, everyday citizens, and your peers in school, about protecting the Great Lakes?

Lucy Jones: I don’t think people realize how amazing our Great Lakes are. With the Great Lakes being one of the biggest freshwater systems, it is difficult to imagine life without them. I believe that bringing more attention to the Great Lakes and how everyone can do their part to protect them can make an impact.

FLOW invites other young leaders to send us their ideas for protecting the Great Lakes. Reach us at

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