After months of planning, students from Wellington High School’s environmental and science clubs, together with club advisors and members of the Wellington Garden Club, gathered at the school to implement their plan to refurbish old landscaping.
In one weekend, the school’s entrance became colorful and inviting as it was planted with dozens of new plants, including native coco plum, crotons, arboricola “Trinette,” Jatropha, green island ficus, firespike, plumbago, buttercups and several small cassia trees. The finishing touch was a truckload of mulch donated by Odum’s Nursery.
A few years ago, while driving her son to WHS, Roxanne Henry noticed that the 30-year-old landscaping at the school could use a bit of refurbishing. As a longtime member of the Wellington Garden Club and an avid gardener, she knew that new landscaping would create a more inviting and welcoming addition to the school. She started with the planting in front of the school, along Greenview Shores Blvd. A few years later, she wanted a more colorful and attractive main entrance to the school.
The first step was to contact the school’s principal, Mario Crocetti, and community school administrator, Chris Romano, who gave their approval to proceed with the project. Next she reached out to the environmental and science club teachers Karen Clawson and Brian Nelson for support in implementing the re-landscaping endeavor. Both agreed it would be an exciting undertaking for the students in those programs.
What began with the intent of “sprucing up” the school’s curb appeal, soon became a total landscape renovation. With the assistance of Wellington Garden Club member and master gardener Stormi Bivin, the new design plan included removal of about 90 percent of the existing plants to be replaced with plants that met four criteria: drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, colorful, and attractive to birds and butterflies. Faced with implementing an ambitious renovation plan that would totally transform the school’s entrance, Henry appealed to the Wellington Garden Club for additional assistance in funding the plan and supervising the project.
Wellington Garden Club President Susan Hillson and Past President Barbara Hadsell welcomed the chance to become involved with the school’s youth gardeners. “Two of our club’s objectives are to encourage all phases of gardening and to promote civic beauty, so this is a perfect fit with those objectives,” Hillson said.
“We are so pleased with this chance to partner with the school’s youth gardeners and make a difference both at the school and in our surrounding community,” said Hadsell, who heads the club’s efforts to reach out to area youth.
Above: WHS students and teachers join Wellington Garden Club members to enhance the campus landscaping.