BY NUHA ISLAM
The small plot of land right behind the football stadium goes unnoticed by almost all who pass by. To most, it’s a mangle of untamed shrubbery with a discarded water fountain, a stark contrast to the mowed lawns of the courtyard. However, environmental club has taken a new look at the little patch of wilderness and discovered its great potential.
“As a senior, I’ve attended a bunch of football games,” president Stephanie Sui said. “I always passed by, and wondered why it was so dark and overgrown. It didn’t make any sense, a large fountain in a really small area.”
And with other environmental club members coming to the same conclusion, a new project was born: a revamped butterfly garden.
Indeed, the area that is now home to weeds, was once a student cultivated garden, with morning glories and gardenias blooming in the Florida sun.
“When I first started working here in the fall, I really didn’t go into that area; It’s very far from the office,” assistant principal Carla Hozebin said. “However, because I am involved with ROTC, I see it a lot nowadays. I think it’s phenomenal that the environmental club is planning to renovate the space.”
Plans for the little garden include weed pulling, tree trimming, mulch spreading and planting milkweed plants to attract butterflies. While all the heavy lifting will be done by the members, fundraising has only just begun.
“We are planning to ask for donations around the community, as well as sell some stuff like Krispy Kreme or popcorn,” Sui said. “We found out we can’t fundraise in May, so that’s put a roadblock in our project. I will be away in Pennsylvania for college next year, so I will be passing the torch on to next year’s leadership board.”
The club’s underclassmen are looking forward to the project next year. Many are raising money over the summer and are planning fundraisers for the next school year.
“I am very excited to work with my fellow club members. This year, we did recycling projects around the school, and that was surprisingly a lot of fun,” junior Hector Perez said. “I joined this year after taking AP Environmental Science; not many people actively support green practices, so it’s our goal to make them as easy and fun as possible.”
Supporting the planet is a big value between all environmental club members, including the new ones joining next year.
“A healthy environment sustains human life. Without it, we are reaching a lot of tipping points, due to climate change,” junior Joie Meyer said. “It’s frightening to see how little changes in the climate cause such big impacts on ecosystems, and I want to take ownership of my home, the Earth.”
The butterfly garden is one of many ways the club helps out around school. Alongside their after school projects, environmental club also fosters discussion off campus, long after service hours are completed.
“The environment has never really been in the forefront of policy, and I definitely feel it’s going to be felt in 10-20 years,” Meyer said. “It’s easy to take for granted what a nice Earth we live on, and I think we could all practice a little more love for the Earth.”
Photo by Saige Griffin