Garden club members fix up the courtyard


Lee Newell, Staff Writer

  The courtyard in the middle of the high school has long gone overlooked, but some students hope to bring some beauty to the space.

  District Bookkeeper Donna Stull acknowledged that originally, when the school was built, the courtyard was used to allow easy passage from one side of the school to the other. But due to students throwing rocks, no one is allowed to walk through it. They tried having lunch in the courtyard but students were too noisy. And the health of the courtyard was not kept up because no one walks through it, so no one really cared about how it looks.

   A new student-formed garden club has taken on the courtyard as their first project. Freshmen Ally Estes, Emily Engebretsen, and Kolby Estes; sophomores Zoe Eledge and Ryan Burks, junior Noah Long, seniors Derek Wright and Jesse Stantorf, are all member of the new garden club.

  Other than garden club, there are no plans to renovate and/or change the courtyard. It would take too much effort for a small group and no large scale operation is feasible. Some people may enjoy walking through it, but the majority don’t care because they can’t really see it. According to Stull, years ago a group from Drury University architecture school created a plan to renovate the courtyard, but right now all of the roofs drain to the courtyard, so they would have had to reroof the whole school. In order to remove all the rocks from the courtyard, all of them would have to pass through the school, and that also goes for adding things such as dirt and mulch. In order for the courtyard to change, it would have to be a schoolwide plan and idea, with help from everyone.

   However, garden club founder junior Noah Long and other garden club members will be working to improve the courtyard. For improvements, Long would like to possibly remove the gravel in the courtyard.

   “I would like to get the gravel out of there because it’s kinda an eyesore, and replace it with grass and mulch because it will add more color,” Long said.

   Long doesn’t want to remove all of it, just some, and re-landscape the rest. He would also like to add more plants and cultivate, propagate, and divide the plants that are already out there. Freshmen Emily Engebretsen has already helped Long clean out the pond and sophomore Ryan Burks has helped Long take root divisions, which is when one takes old roots to make new plants.

   Currently, the only benefit to having the courtyard open, would be to slightly speed up the process of crossing the school, and possibly making the hallways less congested.