Eco-West is going green

Members of the club are growing tomatoes to fund a new garden


Eddie Shi

Eco-West is planting tomatoes in the current greenhouse. As they sprout, they are transferred to bigger containers in which they are going to grow for 6-8 weeks.

Eddie Shi, Staff Reporter

What is Eco-West? In the simplest terms, Eco-West is a new gardening club established around a year ago that is currently in its preparation phase. They became a club after science teacher Justin Higgins asked some students in his AP Environmental Science class if they wanted to start some after-school activity. Juniors Margaret Scott and Kaitlin Kluch stepped up.

Every Wednesday, the club meets and discusses future plans for its proposed garden. The plan for the outside garden is to have three boxes outside the windows for the students to look at. Eco-West is hoping some wildlife like butterflies and birds come by to enjoy the flowers and pollinate them. The birds and butterflies would be very fun to see during class.

“The club is planning to build a garden outside the ACP classrooms for pollinators, and to do this we had to present slides that we made to Dr. Greg Tiemann in order to get it approved,” club president Scott said. “The club is crucial to me because we are making a garden that’ll improve the building as well as making our mark at West.”

The process of actually making the boxes for the proposed outdoor garden is no easy feat. The club made Google slides with all the plans. Then the greenery team had to get wood statements and an architect to make some boxes for the planters. They hoped that Mr. Lambert would assist by building the boxes as a project for carpentry. However, the plan is not set in stone, many members have different ideas and the group chooses the best course of action after listening to all opinions.

The team of greenery enthusiasts plans on funding their proposed garden by growing tomatoes. As of last week, the members continued their tomato planning journey. The process of growing tomatoes indoors could propose a challenge, especially when mold took over the first batch of tomatoes, causing all of them to die. However, the spirits of Eco-West did not die, they continued with even more care than before as they gained more experience.

“The experience is always fun, especially when all your friends are there planting with you,” junior Albi Dell Apa said. “I really like how we play music while we plant the tomatoes; it’s always fun to hang around friends while doing something I feel is important.”

Tomato seeds are planted in smaller soil samples and then added to another cup full of fertilized soil. They are then topped with sand to prevent gnats and other pests from getting to the roots of the plants. The cups have holes on the bottom and are put over marbles in a tray to prevent the tomatoes from drowning. After watering them, they’re grown under artificial light in Mr. Higgin’s classroom. After about six to eight weeks Eco-West hopes the tomatoes will be big enough to sell to people as starting funds for the outdoor garden.

“I typically contribute to a load of field work such as planting, watering, and moving supplies,”
Junior Elisey Kolesnikov-Cherenkov said. “Although there’s always a lot of work to be done, we continuously like to have fun with our work; we do our job and joke around with one another so it never feels like a chore.”

With even bigger plans like a proposed refurbishment of the empty greenhouse, new members are always welcomed. They can expect fun meetings where they can relax in a green environment.