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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida, USA

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida, USA
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Registered: December 2018
City/Town/Province: Parkland
Posts: 1
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Since my freshman year, I have led a group called Marjory's Garden at my high school, which was named after famous environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. It is a community garden that aims to educate the future generations at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Working within Marjory's Garden has allowed for me to pursue my passion for helping the environment, teach others about sustainability, lead a group of volunteers, and create a garden for members of my community to enjoy. While providing leadership for the volunteers who help to maintain the student-driven project, I have assisted with designing and building specific areas in the garden. Through the vegetable garden, hydroponics area, butterfly pollination area, outdoor classroom, and astronomy observatory, Marjory's Garden has allowed me to fully express my own ideas while building a beautiful area for a good cause. The garden itself is has student-created box gardens and brightly colored, handmade benches. In addition to this, the Florida native plants attract a variety of indigenous animal species, like mockingbirds and cottontail rabbits. The butterfly pollination area features a pathway that allows students to walk through and view the colorful insects living on the flora. Our environmentally-friendly solar panels and composting area allow for everyone to understand more about sustainability and how easy it is to use items that help the local ecosystems. On the South side of the garden stands an observatory with numerous telescopes inside. Astronomy nights are held here to allow students to examine the stars and other objects in the mysterious sky. Every Saturday morning, many student and adult volunteers from the community donate their time to this worthy cause to continually build within it.
Designing and physically building the garden is another aspect that has led me to become more creative and collaborative when working with my peers. During my two and a half years working in the garden, I was able to design the setup for the native species areas in Marjory's Garden, as well as collaborate with my fellow volunteers about what colors would look best there.
When the building aspect of the garden is completed, we plan to provide tours for local schools. During these field trips, we would explain to the youth of today the importance of sustainability, recycling, and native species. Additionally, we will give demonstrations on gardening and using the hydroponics system to show how easy it is to grow your own fruits and vegetables. We are also hoping to setup a composting procedure in which local businesses and our school's culinary and cafeteria programs would be able to drop off their organic food waste to be composted and used again in our organic garden.
Marjory's Garden has also provided people with a safe place. The massacre that occurred on February 14th, 2018 at my school made major impact on my school, as well as the whole world. Recently, my team and I have worked long hours to build a comforting environment and serenity garden for the teachers, students, faculty, and parents to use. Everyday, many people can be seen working in and eating in the garden. Service dogs and grief counselors go out there as well to speak to students and take a break from the morning rush. The warmth of the sun combined with the fluttering butterflies provide an area that encourages students and teachers to be the best they can be through the peacefulness of the garden. Additionally, a project called "Kindness Rocks" allows for students to read inspirational messages on painted pebbles scattered throughout.
Everybody within my community enjoys Marjory's Garden and loves that it is tranquil and educational. My ultimate goal within the garden is to teach the future generations about gardening and sustainability within an outdoor garden built for students by students. In the upcoming years, I hope to continually pursue my love for raising plants, helping others, and protecting the environment by furthering my gardening experience while still working with the garden. I plan to have a personal garden of my own after graduating from college and live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Marjory's Garden is an amazing project that will continually teach the community about the wonders of gardening and I am very grateful to have been a part of it.
Date: December 31, 2018 Views: 5815 File size: 18.9kb, 114.8kb : 720 x 960
Hours Volunteered: 4500
Volunteers: 200
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 14 to 55
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): .2
Native Trees Planted: 10
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