West goes green

New club works on restoring the greenhouse and learning about plants


Photo credits: Breanna Batchelder

Before the Greenhouse Club decided to fix up the area, the greenhouse was used for extra storage for science teachers. “The club is important because it gives people the responsibility to care for something living,” junior Peyton Westervelt said. “The club also makes sure the greenhouse is being used like it was meant to, not just as an extra storage room.”

Sadie Smith, Staff Reporter

Members of the newly-formed Greenhouse Club have taken it upon themselves to work together and restore Millard West’s forgotten greenhouse. While the club has only a few members, they are working hard to take care of the plants and bring awareness to its importance. 

This year, a passionate student reached out to science teacher Mikala Hansen to discuss starting a club that would revive the greenhouse and teach students about plants as well as how to care for them along the way. The club allows students to care for something living while making a positive impact. 

“Our goal is to restore the greenhouse and to teach people about how to take care of plants as well as opening other people’s eyes about the environment with this project.” junior Adrien Vu said. “The club is important because it teaches us to take care of plants and the environment as well.”

The club has allowed the students to gain knowledge and experience they may not have received otherwise. Although the club is fairly new, the members have worked hard to bring life to the greenhouse and learn about different gardening techniques. 

“Last meeting, we made sure the pots had enough new soil, and the meeting before that was transferring plants from their old soil and pots to new ones to make sure there are no bugs or infections,” junior Peyton Westervelt said. “We also water them and trim them when necessary.”

At face value, the importance of Greenhouse Club seems obvious- to grow plants and teach students about horticulture. While these are still significant, Hansen wants students to dig deeper and find more value in the club. She encourages members to reflect on the gravity caring for another life has, and how it can affect their lives outside of the group.

“There are so many reasons why plants matter,” Hansen said. “First, it’s beneficial to care for a greenhouse for the same reason cities maintain and care for zoos: keeping exotic species indoors that wouldn’t be able to live in our native growing zone helps students gain an appreciation for the diversity of life. Tending to the specific needs of each species helps students value the preciousness of life and marvel at what it means to be alive. It teaches responsibility, attention to detail, and problem solving as students work to help each plant continue to thrive. The goal of the club is to have fun in the process of raising awareness of different plant life and how to care for these diverse species.”

In efforts to expand beyond the walls of West, the club plans to start up an Instagram account that will highlight different organisms. The revenue they collect from social media will go towards buying plants and supplies to make the greenhouse even better. 

“We plan to give the plants names and costumes and post pictures on Instagram and other social media,” Westervelt said. “We hope to engage the community and get the plants ‘adopted’ so we will be able to make revenue that will be put towards buying important materials.”

Members of the Greenhouse Club are not only devoted to growing plants, but growing the group as well. They are always looking for new members who are passionate about learning about and caring for a variety of plants. The club meets every Wednesday in Room 210 for about an hour after school. You do not need any prior knowledge to join, just a willingness to learn and maybe get your hands a little dirty.