SNHS and Beach Buddies conquer green cleaning

THE SCHOOL GREENHOUSE looks different than it did during the height of COVID. Clubs have come together to make it “green” once again. (Spencer Davidson)

When Science National Honor Society (SNHS) sponsor Laura Beltz realized that group members would be limited to certain volunteer opportunities available to them this year due to COVID, she decided to look elsewhere for service projects that could be done within the school.

What Beltz found was that the students who work at the school’s coffee shop were also at a disadvantage, since they have been unable to gain work experience this year.

So with both groups in mind, Beltz decided that the greenhouse, in need of cleaning and proper gardening outside of the school, was the perfect way to give back, while also solving the problems of the two groups.

“I knew the kids from coffee shop, or the Beach Buddies club members, needed work experience, so I thought this was a great way to help them with that,”  Beltz said. “Not only that, but they’d also be able to bond with other students as they worked.”

Once the plans had been set on fixing up the greenhouse, students from SNHS along with Beach Buddy club members quickly came together to begin the work. The groups began by cutting down the grass that had grown over four feet tall.

Since then, the combined group effort has accomplished much more. They meet every Wednesday during fourth block class to complete various tasks such as replacing old and worn down shelves and repairing doors and rooftop windows that had been broken.

Beltz is, needless to say, delighted with the progress.

After some of the actual structure of the greenhouse, the groups also decided to plant different types of seeds to grow and use for later such as herbs, strawberries, tomatoes, green pepper, beans, and even a fig tree. Once grown, the group intends to incorporate or make these plants into different types of food. 

“It’s been awesome, the kids coming from SNHS haven’t had the opportunity to work with kids that are disabled, so it’s a new experience for both groups,” Mrs. Beltz said. “But they’ve learned how to adapt and communicate so well with each other.”

For example, they plan to make herb vinegar out of the variety of herbs currently growing in the greenhouse. They have also planted perennials, which Beltz says will be planted in the wing connected to the school once fully grown. 

While reflecting on how this service project has benefited the school as a whole, she also remarked on the excitement and future plans for the newly renovated greenhouse.

“It’s been such fun and I’m really excited to see what the greenhouse will look like once everything starts growing,” Beltz said. “But for now, the next project will be to plant sunflower seeds, something the coffee shop kids picked on their own, and are really excited about, we can’t wait.”

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