Smiles bloom in new LRC garden

Alexa Lim, Spotlight Editor

Bees are abuzz and butterflies rest their wings on the petals of newly blossomed flowers as students tend to their plant projects in their very own garden. By the end of the school year, this is the environment that the LRC students hope to achieve with their newly finished garden. 

Just outside the LRC (Learning Resource Center) classroom, there’s a little space affectionately dubbed the “courtyard garden”.

“It all began last year when we started a garden with some little buckets and seeds, but we didn’t have any garden beds. My co-teacher Ms. Carpita told our principal, Sean Martin at the time, that we would like some garden beds out there,” LRC co-teacher Briana Macri said.

However, the garden remained a mini-project until sophomore Seth Orton started a search for an idea for his Eagle Scouts project. 

“He went to Mr. Brownson and asked, ‘Is there anything I can help the school with for my Eagle Scouts project?’ and Brownson was like ‘Yes, garden beds!’” Macri said. 

Once he had permission and funding from the school, Orton got to working with the LRC and Donovan Osborn, the groundskeeper, to clear out the courtyard and install the garden beds. 

“Now that I’ve finished making the boxes, I’ve turned it over to the LRC and its students to do what they want with the garden,” Orton said. 

While the garden provides a place for students to spend time and have fun outside, it also aids in teaching them different skills. 

“By growing a garden, students can better understand the process of how the food we consume is grown and nurtured,” Macri said. 

Much of the curriculum in the LRC is hands-on learning, so the garden gives them more opportunities to grow. 

“The garden is an asset to our class because it gives us another location where we can teach our students and expand on their learning,” Jamie Carpita, a co-teacher of the LRC classroom, said. 

Prior to planting, the LRC students have done research and provided input as to what plants they want to grow in the garden. 

“I want to grow carrots and maybe potatoes in the garden,” junior Polly Perry said. 

Other additions to the garden may include fast-growing plants, flowers for color, and herbs that have already started growing. There won’t be anyone to take care of the garden in the summer, so the class has to decide between plants that will die at the end of the school year and plants that will be harvested before or during June. 

“I want Liberty students to know how much dedication and work we’re putting in from start to finish and the pride that the LRC students have in all the things they’re doing,” Macri said. 

At some point, the LRC hopes to get to the point where they are producing fruits and vegetables that can be utilized throughout the school. This also presents a chance for more students to become involved with the garden. 

“I like working in groups, so it might be nice if other students visited and helped out with the garden,” sophomore Joshua Daly said. 

The garden is located just through the doors of the LRC classroom, which is at the end of the science hallway. Students should feel free to engage with this new aspect of the school, especially as the weather warms up. 

“Our classroom is always open to any guests or visitors who want to come look or help out with the garden,” Macri said.