The Cornwall High School garden is in dire need of a rebuild, but the endeavor will be expensive. The Environmental Club has come up with a way to raise money for the project while the architecture students will be designing a new garden.
Eva Whorley, teacher and head of the club, said the last few storms nearly wiped out the garden. She said about $7,000 to $10,000 needs to be raised with the fence being the most expensive part of the project.
Last year the Environmental Club members decided to set up bins to collect depositable bottles and cans. Averaging about 400 empty containers per month, the students have raised more than $1,000 to date. Whorley expects that number to double by the end of the year.
In early spring, other fund raising opportunities will be presented to the public, once the design of the garden has been settled. Residents will be able to purchase one side, an end, or an entire bed and dedicate it to a loved one. Donors may also purchase a fence post and have their name etched into it.
As a final project, students in the architecture class will be divided into three teams and tasked with putting together a presentation for the administration and Board of Education. They will each design a new garden and the Environmental Club will decide on the winning design.
The students will be able to refer to the project on their resumes and in the portfolios they send to architecture or engineering schools.
The design will include fencing, raised beds, walkways, compost areas, solar lights, and water recycling. The garden will be 100 percent environmentally friendly.
The garden will use more recycled, renewed, and repurposed materials. The raised beds will be made of weatherproof wood and corrugated steel. Whorley said there are materials available that will allow water to pass through to the aquifer rather than run off.
The new garden will require 80 percent less maintenance and surplus will be donated to the food bank. The cafeteria staff will incorporate the vegetables into nutritious meals for the students.
Students have applied for several grants. The garden was also certified as a monarch waystation because it has enough plants to classify it as a pollinating garden and a monarch safe haven. The butterfly is a threatened species on the brink of extinction.
The butterfly plants will intermingle with the vegetables and other plants to become pollinators for the garden.
Work on the new garden is expected by spring while seedlings are growing inside.
Anyone who wants to volunteer, has materials to donate, or would like to offer their expertise, may e-mail Whorley at firstname.lastname@example.org.