With the clearing of the land by the 900 building, teachers and students have come together to start a new garden for future educational purposes.
“We had a meeting last year in Save What’s Left, an environmental club, where Mrs. Orilio introduced a big plan for the land that was left after taking down the portables,” junior Casey Chin said.
These “big plans” include the participation of multiple clubs and classes such as DECA, culinary arts, biology, environmental science and many more.
“Many clubs at our school are greatly contributing to the garden and they each have different objectives for their projects,” senior Cyril Yared said. “For the DECA chapter, we hope to make the garden self-sustaining by profiting from the produce we plan to sell from the shade house and reinvest it back into the garden.”
The garden will have various sections used for different purposes by each organization. For example, while environmental clubs and classes plan on using their part of the garden to help preserve native species and rebuild a sustainable bee population, culinary plans on using their portion of the land to grow organic and fresh foods for class and school events.
These designated sections are numbered “zones” or “stages.” Zone one contains the garden beds, zone two the hydroponics and zone three the shade house.
“We hope to have beds for planting normal crops. I’m focused on the hydroponics and possibly aquaponics that will happen in this area called phase two,” environmental science teacher Sean Simpson said. “A goal is to have the garden be self-sustaining, so one way we could do that is by establishing solar panels to power the pumps and supporting rainwater collection to water the things that we have.”
The garden is a continuous work in progress, but students and teachers hope to have stage one and three (the block gardens and shade house) finished by the end of 2016.
“The garden will never be completely finished. We will always look for ways to add to it, make it more efficient and make it more eco-friendly,” Yared said.
Students meet every Saturday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to help with the garden and can receive service hours for certain clubs or for graduation hours.