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Education Features

Spring’s in the air at O’Hara


TONAWANDA — Students at Cardinal O’Hara High School are thinking spring with a new Garden Club, not just to help the environment but to enhance the school and learn hands-on how to garden.

A group of students at Cardinal O’Hara High School have begun a garden club along with science teachers Lyn Porcelli and Erika Doktor. At a recent meeting, they received pollinator seeds from Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. Receiving the packets are, from left, O’Hara students Evelyn Zent and Arsema Tedros; Robert Coady from Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Michelle Lockett from Niagara River Greenway, and O’Hara student Nevaeh Rainey. (Photo courtesy of Cardinal O’Hara High School)

The club, directed by science teachers Lyn Porcelli and Erika Doktor, met with Michelle Lockett, community engagement director of Niagara River Greenway and Robert Coady, community engagement director for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper on Feb. 15 to learn not only about the project, but what would be the best plants to start with and the best place for the garden.

“Niagara River Greenway is happy that students will learn more about habitat and the need to balance nature.” Lockett said. “A garden club is good for physical and mental health.”

Coady handed out packets of pollinator seeds to start the garden. He suggested starting with a bed about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide that the students could fence with chicken wire to keep small predators from eating the plants.

The group walked outside the school to find a good spot for the flowerbed, one with the right amount of sunshine and close to a water source.

Lockett also reminded the students of the care that is needed to make a garden flourish.

“When you start a garden, you have to commit to maintaining it,” she said.

Porcelli noted that the students are working on a blueprint and material in which to pot the seeds until they can be transplanted.

“It’s important now more than ever for educators and students to learn more about how we can benefit the environment,” Coady said. “We have to create a connection to land and our responsibility to save it.”


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