Red Raider Garden Club

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

A new club has formed at the Meyersdale Area School District, the Red Raider Garden Club. In just a short few weeks, middle and high school students have made some big improvements at the school and plan to “sow these seeds” of success throughout the community. Members recently completed work on landscaping at the entrance to the middle school. Members will continue to water and care for the plants throughout the fall months and will be growing plants in the District’s greenhouse to plant in the Spring. Members include: (from left) Trinity Hoover, Aden Kline, Chalyce Miller, Rayne Stevanus, Leena Browne, Kelsey Graves, Marcella Dupre and Jessica Daughton.

The Meyersdale Area School District has resumed an exciting program for students in grades 7-12 that focused on each student’s personal future aspirations and interests.

Personalized Learning Time (PLT) is a scheduled time during the school day that empowers students by providing the opportunity for student-initiated learning experiences. The goals of PLT are to foster student-driven learning that both inspires and motivates. The PLT program allows students to select activities that interest them or capture their curiosity.

New, this year, is the Red Raider Garden Club. Comprised of middle and high school students, this club has already begun to “bloom” with several projects and activities. Under the guidance of advisor, Mrs. Julie Stahl, students meet weekly and learn about cultivating their own green thumbs. Mrs. Angie Brant is also assisting with this group.

Among their first projects was to clear and prepare the soil for several raised beds located at the rear of the school building. This included harvesting tomatoes, as well as seeds for future projects. Students used their harvest to prepare a fresh pico de gallo as well as a homemade fresh spaghetti sauce. Dr. Karlie and Mrs. Terri Karlie assisted Stahl in the laborious process, teaching the students how to properly mill and prepare the fresh vegetables to be canned.

Beginning in October, students began work on the entrance area of the Meyersdale Middle School to transform the flower beds into a fall display with the expertise of Dr. Karlie and his experience as a landscaper.

“With all the added responsibilities our maintenance and custodial staff has taken on recently, we have had to prioritize task lists and responsibilities. The middle school and administration entry areas have needed some attention and a group of students in the Garden Club took ownership of the area to transition into fall. Since all high school and middle school students walk past this area daily, it seemed like a great focal point for a project,” Karlie explained.

In addition to planting fall mums, edging, weed barrier, and mulch were placed to minimize future maintenance needs. Costs were minimized by partnering with Heritage Coal who donated mulch for the area.

“There are many television shows that show the value of creating curb appeal around a home and the value it can add. Students took an area that had been left go for some time and not only created color and live plants, but also created flower beds that reduced future maintenance and gave a finished look to a high profile area,” Karlie explained. “Spring bulbs and summer flowers will be part of the project. We hope to plant summer flowers from seed in our greenhouse.”

The Red Raider Garden Club has also assisted the Maple City Garden with their various projects, including planter maintenance throughout the community. They plan to assist these wonderful volunteers as they launch their Christmas wreath fundraiser in the coming weeks and again, in the spring, to prepare the flower baskets for planting.

Members are looking forward to sharing their love of plants to their school campus and throughout the community in the coming months!