Whether students park in upper lot, walk down to Paradise every day, or practice in the auxiliary gym, they are sure to notice the garden from time to time. This space currently cultivated by Ecology Club will soon undergo changes to make it a more interactive, shared area.
Freshman Benjamin Johnston, along with his father Steve Johnston, recently reached out to Ecology Club Moderator Lauren Wulker about revamping and revitalizing the garden. “My father and I have been volunteering to work on the garden because we garden at home too,” Johnston said. “I visit the garden and pass it every day after school during track. It really helps the campus have more biodiversity.”
The plan is to first get the garden under control, complete the infrastructure, and then to raise garden beds that will be available for groups of students, families, or clubs to adopt. “My goal is to get other clubs involved so the garden can thrive,” Wulker said. “It’s important to know where our food comes from. Plus, if the beds are shared, the load isn’t too much to handle and it’s quick, easy maintenance.”
Johnston believes that the garden has the potential to become an area where students relax and teachers can take their classes to talk about the relationships among plants, bacteria, and bugs. “I have a belief that the garden could possibly become a beautiful, amazing, live garden with living creatures crawling around,” Johnston said. “I have a lot of free time and instead of wasting it playing games, I want to help my school out by fixing and helping with the garden. It’ll make the campus bloom will colors and beauty.”
These improvements, along with the addition of picnic benches or another seating arrangement in one corner of the garden, will take time, but Wulker and Johnston would like students to know that changes are coming and the potential to get involved with the garden and take freshly grown food home will be available at McNick as long as things go according to plan.
“I don’t want people to be afraid to open the gate, sit down, and hang out. If students want to adopt a bed, they could collaborate with other groups about what everyone is planting or they could go the individual route and get one bed to take care of. Either way, it makes the garden more of a community space, which is what we would like to see.”