At CVHS, students become fairly comfortable with the layout of the campus within a couple of weeks. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors know CVHS like the back of their hand. Yet, there is one place on campus that most students have not been to or even heard about. It is not the principal’s office or a specific classroom, but the garden between 400 and 500 halls.
Several benches were under large, shady trees, perfect for eating lunch under, but the garden was empty of any other students. A small pond was in the process of being built, and the tiny fish moved to the greenhouse until their new home was ready for them. The greenhouse is a large wooden building, with running water, power, and plenty of workbenches.
Strawberries, spinach, persimmons, grapes, tomatoes, and peas are just of some of the plants that are prospering in the garden. In the corner nearest 500 hall is the bee and butterfly area. It is filled with colorful, gorgeous flowers that attract all kinds of life.
“It’s beautiful,” said senior Irene Tang. This “secret” garden is an island of tranquility amongst a sea of hurried, anxious people.
The Gardening Club, a small club of about six to eight members, advised by Michelle Trueblood, maintains the garden. This club started about four years ago when a group of students wished to start a gardening club, but there was no place in CVHS to have one. During that time, the old staff area was being demolished and the garden area was basically a junkyard.
“All the hard work pays off in the end,” stated senior Marisa Matines. “It makes everything more beautiful. It’s an escape from school.”
Classes such as landscaping, botany, and biology used to be held in the garden, but these classes are no longer offered to CVHS students.
Fundraisers and donations support the Gardening Club. It tries to encourage community participation through garden clean-ups, such as the Fall Clean Up on Oct. 16. Community members come to help re-landscape and re-plant the garden.
The Gardening Club hopes that by involving the community, more students and people will gain awareness of the CVHS garden and become more interested in it.