Madera High School clubs clean up garden
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Students from Madera High School’s Young Parent Club and Hiking Club teamed with Netafim to help remodel the garden behind the campus’ science building. Netafim came in Wednesday to install an irrigation and drip system and also helped plant flowers and vegetables for the gardens.
For years, the area behind the science building on the Madera High School campus was an area for science teachers conducting experiments or enjoying a break.
However, over time, the area became overgrown with weeds and was unsightly.
Young Parents Club Advisor Summer Gonzales and Hiking Club Advisor Adriana Quintana saw the space as an opportunity to teach their students life lessons while giving them a place to meet.
“The teachers and I are big on outdoor environments,” Gonzales said. “Not only for the mental health aspect, but we teach the babies how to plant. When we saw this, it was a perfect opportunity to beautify something on campus.”
“They’ve been trimming plants and taking the bushes out,” Quintana said of her students. “We’ve been cleaning and prepping.”
After a few months of working to clean up the area, Netafim came in to donate irrigation lines and plants for the garden.
“What our company does is grow more with less,” said Sully Figueroa, Environmental Health and Safety and Sustainability director for Netafim Irrigation. “We have the technology, especially in the Central Valley, where we need to grow more with less water because of the drought. We have the smart technology with the drip irrigation where it’s sufficient enough to water the platns that need to be watered at the roots rather than wasting the water and watering not at the root level.”
Figueroa, who is a 2007 Madera High School graduate, is proud to be able not only to give back to her school, but to other schools around the Central Valley.
“It’s great to come back,” she said. “My title is sustainability. This is a partnership with Fresno and Madera high schools. It feels great to give back to the high school where I grew up and I can make a difference.”
Now that the garden area went from something unsightly to something students can be proud of, Gonzales and Quintana see events in the garden in the future.
“We want a place as teachers to enjoy some nice greenery during our lunch and conference periods,” Quintana said. “We also want the students to grow the vegetables and plants. My vision is to allow the students to enjoy this, like the upperclassmen.”
“We’ve never had events here, but now we can start doing things,” Gonzales said.
In addition to giving teachers and students a place to enjoy, the garden can potentially give the students and teachers something to eat with the vegetables they planted.
“We have a salsa garden so we can make salsa,” said aide Autianna Hall. “The plants will actually stay there and live. These are great skills to learn. I don’t know how to do this. Now, I will know how to plant.”
The garden area was a place to fix and, in the end, the students made it something they could be proud of.
“They are proud of what they have been able to do,” Gonzales said. “This helps create camaraderie, they become friends, they learn, they tell their parents. It’s still a work in progress. We want to do a reception for teachers. It belongs to them.”