Gardening club plans to begin school garden next year


Shehzil Imran

Plants are grown in the gardening room throughout the school year by using a grow light.

Gardening Club plans to break ground in creating a school garden in the fall of next school year. In its first year, the club consisted of nearly 100 members and was founded by seniors Kevin Yoon, Harsha Sirigina and Alexandru Aghinitei.

“Originally we wanted to make a club for food science called ‘Food-istry,’” Sirigina said. “[After] talking to [sponsor] Ms. Carney and [learning that] she was looking for something similar, we paired our ideas and transitioned it into growing our own foods and cooking it.”

Upon attending a teacher professional development offered by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension over the summer, gardening club sponsors Kelly Carney and Tricia Whisonant became inspired to create a garden for the school.

“We originally [thought] it’d be fun to have a greenhouse, but we thought it’d be perfect to use the Gardening Club to do all the little things we wanted to do with a garden,” Carney said. “Once things are established, we’re looking for things to [grow that] will not be very high maintenance.”

The club is currently waiting on approval to start work on the garden from the Building Leadership Team. The BLT meets once a month and is made up of teachers, administrators, parents and community members.

“[Creating] the garden will take years, and it’ll happen in phases,” Whisonant said. “It’s a big [project]: it’s not just taking a few things and planting them and being done.” 

The initial funding will come from some of principal Amy Boughton’s general school budget and the BLT will approve where that money goes. After the foundation of the garden is established, funding will come from fundraisers, grants and engraved name bricks that will eventually be available for purchase to create the garden beds. 

“We are asking for a substantial amount of money to get started,” Carney said. “[We] want [the garden] to last, so [we] have to invest upfront [to] get longevity out of it.”

The club founders hope to provide an outdoor learning environment in which other classes can incorporate the garden in their curriculum and teach lessons revolving around it. 

“Our goal is for everyone in the school to use the garden and interact with it there as a social space and for others — [such as] the art and English department — to use it [for learning],” Yoon said. “We hope creating the garden will make the school more colorful.”