Maddy Axel

For those who have seen the giant pile of woodchips on the east side of the school and are wondering what is afoot, the mystery has been solved. Tracy Landboe, science teacher, explained that her ecology students are getting their hands dirty this semester. “Last year my ecology students started a native plant garden on the east side of the school, where it had been just weeds and invasive species,” Landboe said, “we are expanding it this spring, and I currently have about 50 shrubs all potted up and ready to plant.” Every single one of Landboe’s ecology students will be planting one native plant.

Landboe explained that although the garden may not look very impressive at the moment, we should be expecting much improvement within the next couple of years. “It usually takes plants about three years to begin to thrive and look good, but every year the garden should get nicer and fill in more,” Landboe shared. The garden consists of entirely native plants, many of which are edible. “We planted native strawberry, native blackberry, thimbleberry, flowering current and salmonberry,” Landboe described, “all of these are edible.”

Although the Garden is taking off, and expected to do very well, Landboe has struggled to engage her students in the process. “It is a bit of a challenge to get students to actually do school work outside,” Landboe shared, “everyone is used to sitting on their rear ends at a desk, and not actively doing things.” She could feel her students’ frustration that the results of their efforts were not instantly gratifying. “I think students expect an instantaneously beautiful garden,” Landboe explained, “but it takes a few years, eventually things will begin to grow and it will be amazing.”

Despite some minor bumps in the road Landboe is extremely optimistic about the expansion of her native garden. “Right now it is really small and doesn’t look like much,” Landboe admitted, “but we will be planting over 50 plants and in a few years from now, it will be really nice.”

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