Although not every student knows, Bronx Science has four gardening facilities: the rooftop garden, the garden by the parking lot, the greenhouse within the garden, and the hydroponic system. Courtesy of the horticulture class, the Green Team, and Gardening Club, there are plans to remodel the whole garden and landscape the area near DeWitt Clinton and the boys’ locker room. This year, Dr. Fien, advisor of the Gardening Club and Horticulture teacher, hopes to remodel the garden area and hopes to receive a grant for gardening resources and development.
The plans for the new year include the planting of nine additional trees on the school campus and a brand new vegetable garden. In addition, co-president of Gardening Club Shahel Jawad ’20 said, “Our mission is simple. We want to maintain, grow, and improve the garden and the plants we grow there. We also want to bring more awareness to the garden itself by informing our members more of the process of gardening as well as giving them the experience.”
In the process of obtaining confirmation from the administration, Dr. Fien had originally advocated for the planting of trees in the school courtyard. However, due to safety reasons, Dr. Fien proposed to plant the trees near the parking lot, close to the area of the DeWitt Clinton High School football field. She obtained approval and is finishing the process with the horticulture class and the Gardening Club.
The three types of trees the Gardening Club and the Horticulture class are planting are the Dwarf Norway Spruce, the Golden Hinoki Cypress, and the Dragon Lady Holly. The plants are going to be planted in a zigzag pattern, alternating amongst the three tree species. The trees grow up to forty feet. The installment of the different types of trees occurred during the last week of October. In order to plant the trees, students need to plant deep holes (about two feet deep) in the ground. For the winter vegetable garden, Dr. Fien and her horticulture class are planting mustard, carrots, swiss chard, and spinach.
The Co-President of Gardening Club Kate Velarde ’20 notes, “This year’s goals are more ambitious than ever.” Currently, the garden team is partnering up with cooking clubs like the World Culture Cooking Club. The crops planted, such as those in the winter vegetable garden, are going to used in the cooking clubs to make dishes. The hydroponic system is going to be expanded in the greenhouse.Velarde’s love for gardening developed ever since she was a child. “When I was little, I would help my grandma with her garden. Since then, my appreciation for gardening and nature has only grown. Being surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees can really slow the world down and allow me to just relax,” Velarde said.
Last year, the Green Team helped revitalize the rooftop greenhouse by cleaning up the space, removing worn out supplies, and installing new gardening systems through grants. This year, the Green Team is embarking on a school beautification project, growing container plants inside the classrooms. In addition, they are also propagating plants in the greenhouse. Working together and making sure to always discuss plans, the Green Team has had a major impact on students’ lives. For instance, as the committee leader for Waste and Recycling management, Kin Yang ’20 finds that his most memorable experience during his time in Green Team was having the opportunity to go to New York City’s second annual Sustainability Expo in Brooklyn. Yang said, “Throughout the expo, I was able to talk to other students who were passionate in sustainability and making the Earth a greener place, as well as learn more about sustainability initiatives that other schools had throughout the city. The expo allowed me to network with others, learn more about sustainability and create a collaborative environment with my fellow team members.”
The plans for the new year include the planting of nine additional trees on the school campus and a brand new vegetable garden.