By Melany Freytes
Senior Samantha Hernandez plans on being one of the founders of Mater Lakes Academy’s first in-school garden project. In order to bring change required to improve and maintain the environment, Hernandez hopes to gain the cooperation of the entire school in order clean the world around her.
Senior Samantha Hernandez
The garden project began mid October and is anticipated to continue growing throughout the school year. The addition of many new plants each year is expected as the garden continues to grow. Any student willing to participate will be given the opportunity to help sow the seeds for this emerging garden.
Currently the gardeners consist of a few seniors who will work on “planting, clearing weeds, and replacing the soil which will amount to at least two hours weekly on the garden for upkeep.” MLA senior Victoria Garcia, one of the volunteers, believes “this project is amazing and it’s great to be able to get the chance to give back to the environment.”
The garden plans to be initially only located in the inner lake area near the enormous tree, but it is then predicted to grow around the entire circumference of the lake. Hernandez smiled and said, “Hopefully we can eventually upgrade to a greenhouse.”
The native plants will attract butterflies and bees to bring a lively atmosphere to the entire school and to help welcome all those who enter. Hernandez believes that students will be able to admire from afar and truly appreciate the beauty of nature. Hernandez stated, “the garden will be used more as a propaganda platform to spread the word and get people interested in planting in their own homes.”
Hernandez began this project with the help of John Branas, the sponsor and a physical science teacher, who inspired her to start a “cute, non-threatening and non-overbearing way of spreading the word about climate change.” To help fund the garden, Hernandez is starting “an e waste recycling program and some of that money is also being used to buy plants. We are also planning on applying for many grants.”
Branas stated, “I want to show what people can do with recycling. We are very excited to work on this garden.”
Hernandez hopes that this garden will not only inspire other students to care about the future of their earth and to grow a garden with a variety of plants that will catch the eye of any passersby.
Hernandez’s own admiration for the state of the environment goes beyond the garden; she intends on studying environmental engineering with a minor in environmental health policy.
She hopes to pass down to another student interested in environmentalism. Hernandez aspires to impress and enlighten students on the importance of the environment, starting with a simple garden.