Blooming Community

APES students learn how to garden for a good cause

Rylee Bergmann, Staff Writer

As members of the AP Environmental Science class, seniors Jake Andry and Johnathon Lemons and junior Tori Wingrove have the chance to grow crops for the Olathe Park and Recreation organization and a few local food banks. Specifically, they are growing cabbages, onions and herbs to help bring necessary nutrients to those less fortunate.

“I feel like gardening is a rewarding experience,” Lemons said. “It makes me feel as though I am able to give back to the community.”

The planting process, which is mainly dependent on the students, has been mostly successful since starting at the beginning of February. In these few months, Wingrove has been positively impacted by the experience.

“This opportunity has made me realize that even the little things like growing plants can make a big difference in the community and environment,” Wingrove said.

Andry said this activity brings them joy but the effect was lessened on his end.

“It makes me feel good,” he said. “It feels good to do things that help other people just for your own personal gain but to do it for others.”

Although it may seem pretty simple to garden, challenges arise due to the specific schedule at BV because of COVID-19 regulations.

Pullquote Photo

“This opportunity has made me realize that even the little things like growing plants can make a big difference in the community and environment””

— Tori Wingrove

“Every time we have class, we have tasks to keep the plants alive: watering them, adding more soil and ensuring they stay healthy,” Wingrove said. “With hybrid, each class has to take care of each other’s plants on the days the other class is virtual.”

Within the first month of growth, the crops are proving to thrive, despite obstacles thrown at the APES students.

“The onions are growing quite well, as I predicted,” Andry said. “The cabbages, however, have been lacking in their growth, probably due to the lack of attention [caused from snow days].”

Despite the scheduling issue, there are no physical complications currently, but the class is prepared for any future ones, especially with the movement from the classroom to the outside organizations.

“I haven’t noticed any apparent challenges yet,” Lemons said. “They might come when we have to transport them.”

Andry, Lemons and Wingrove greatly encourage their peers to get involved in nature more.

“Gardening makes me feel earthy,” Wingrove said. “I would recommend it to everyone.”