Samantha Dobey, Staff Writer
September 22, 2017
A memorial garden for Kathleen Worth, the RHS records clerk for many years, was established in honor of her life.
The idea for the memorial garden came about by, then senior, Miaih Horton. She brought her ideas to Laurel Nelson who teaches biology and environmental science and is the adviser to the Environmental Club. The club was looking for a project to complete when the idea of the memorial garden came about.
Science teachers Stephne Barnes, Laurel Nelson. Assistant Principal Chris Ruhm, and the Environmental Club, came up with the idea of the garden, discussed landscaping the area and adding drought-resistant plants.
“Originally the garden was supposed to be outside of the counseling office,” Nelson said. Miaih really pushed to have this garden become a reality and this is how it all started.” Miaih was determined to see action taking place for this garden and made sure the garden would actually happen. The memorial garden can now be found on either the right side of Grace Mullen or behind Grace Mullen.
Ms. Nelson, Ms. Barnes and club representatives discussed the garden planning with AP Economics teacher Rose Sanders and Assistant Principal Chris Ruhm. Together they have helped out with the landscaping, ordering of plants, and garden maintenance.
“We wanted something more than a plaque to remember Kathleen Worth,” Ms. Nelson said. A memorial garden is not just a pretty sight, but the memorial garden also creates an impactful message for the life of Kathleen Worth.
Ms. Nelson is the environmental science and biology teacher, Ms. Barnes is one of the biology teachers and together, they are both in charge of the memorial garden. Mr. Ruhm, one of the three assistant principals, is also a supervisor and is the main provider for the memorial garden.
The idea for the garden began in January of 2016 and towards the end of last school year, the garden began to flourish. Students and teachers now await for the flowers to bloom.
Ms. Barnes says the best aspect of the garden is, “teamwork and leaving a legacy.” On the topic of teamwork, the school’s environmental club plays a big part on the garden. The environmental club participated in a dedication ceremony for the garden. Every week, the club meets in Ms. Nelson’s room and plans their next move on the garden.
Students are the ones who acquired the plot of land for the garden from admin. They also drew maps, researched the plants, arranged a new watering system with Mr. Ruhm, mulched the land, and then proceeded to plant all the seeds. Students have played a major role on the advancements for the garden.
Sage, native milkweed, bottlebrush, and lavender have all been planted in the garden. The plants that were used in the memorial garden are all drought tolerant plants. A new watering system has been implemented and much research has been done to find plants that are drought tolerant.
The watering system has been modified to a drip system which uses less water than other irrigation techniques, but has better effects in terms of maintaining the plants. Mr. Ruhm says the water system, “is a water wise drip system that only waters each plant. Each plant is watered by a small individual drip sprinkler.”
Not only has Mr. Ruhm been a facilitator for the water system, but he has also helped out with the gorilla hair that has been used to mulch the plot of land and assisted students with reaching out to a nursery to receive donations in materials. The benefits of mulching land include but not limited to improvements in soil textures, suppressing weeds, and conservation of water. A local nursery donated to help out with the memorial garden financially.
If you are interested in helping out and improving the environment with this memorial garden, join Environmental Club on Wednesdays during lunch in room 52 or contact one of the contributors such as Ms. Nelson, Ms. Barnes, or Assistant Principal Mr. Ruhm.