The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

ROHS Garden Club to beautify courtyards in 2023

 The Royal Oak High School Garden Club, sponsored by ELA teacher Alfred Ormsbee, is  looking to recover two courtyards in the 100 wing that currently have no plant life. 

      Students can sign up in the winter when planning begins. The club is planning to host a  fundraiser in the winter to fund supplies needed to replant the courtyard. Student support for the  improving the courtyards has grown.  

     “I’ve had my students volunteer, and I’ve already had three students offer to be  president,” said Ormsbee.  

      Teachers use different areas as instructional spaces. The aim of the Garden Club is to provide an outside instructional space for students and  teachers. Royal Oak High School has limited access to outside spaces for students. Currently,  the only outdoor space open to students is the main courtyard during lunch periods.  

      Ormsbee is excited that people are already offering suggestions to beautify the  courtyards. 

     “There’s so many people -students and staff- that want something out there, and who have  been coming up with ideas to put things out there, so I wanted to start a club that’s dedicated to  doing something with those spaces,” said Ormsbee.  

      Teachers were given a QR code in their mailbox for a survey to give to students to get a  sense of gardening ability and interest in joining the club.  

      Students now have a chance to directly impact the layout of the courtyards. Ormsbee is hoping to get students interested in joining. 

     “You don’t need any experience to join the club,” said Ormsbee. “This year you  have an opportunity to design that space.”  

     The club will work on a volunteer basis, and will operate on a fluid schedule that will  change with seasons. Planning for the courtyard beautification starts in the winter, and planting  will begin in the spring. In the summer, students can volunteer to  come into the school and help maintain the gardens and grounds. Students involved in NHS or those who would like to have volunteer opportunities  will have a chance to get  hours.  

     The current plan is to plant a layer of grass and line the outside edge of the courtyard with  flowers, and to plant a tree in the middle. Ideas such as a community bucket of blankets and a  vegetable garden have been proposed. Ormsbee wants students to propose ideas. The club welcomes recommendations from anyone, even those outside of the club. 

       “If there’s anyone who has a really strong interest or really great ideas for what to put out  there, now would be a great time to join the club and vocalize those because their ideas will most  likely be implemented,” Ormsbee said. 

     Ormsbee started the club after looking out at the  barren courtyards, hoping to change the  current look into something more student and staff friendly.  

     “I wanted to start Gardening Club because I now -for a year and a half- have been  looking out at these horrifyingly awful courtyards,” Ormsbee said.  

     Environmental Science teacher Stephen Watzman offered advice on how to stay  environmentally friendly. “Ensure you are planting native grasses and not some Scott’s brand  random grass seed as well as other species like clover, milkweed, or others,” he said. 

      The club will meet in Ormsbee’s room, room 105. 

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