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The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

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Environmental program blossoms after plant sale success

Engaging with students, Smith talks about valuable insights on plant care, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge needed to nurture their plants with care and expertise.

An elective in desperate need of funding, the environmental systems class hosted a plant sale during lunch for a week. The profits earned during this sale will help fund the materials needed to preserve the class for the remainder of the year and into next year.

Each plant sold was grown on campus, either in the gardens near the portables or in the greenhouse behind E hall. A large selection of flora was put on display, ranging from amaranth to aloe vera. The sale raised over $150, which will go towards new pots, soil, seeds, and greenhouse materials.

“The money earned from the sale will finance the restoration of weathered materials,” environmental systems teacher Dane Smith said. “For instance, in the greenhouse, two fans blow hot air out which makes the space too hot for plant life. The money is used for improvements either by buying supplies or improving the current situation.”

The budget for the environmental systems class derives from any leftover money from the science department funds that aren’t used during the school year.

“There’s a budget for the science department,” Smith said. “However, usually, that money goes towards buying markers, paper, or supplies like that. Administration does have a request form where teachers can request materials to be purchased with extra funds. But, there is no definite area in the current budget for soil and seeds that I need for my class.”

This year’s sale is the first of a potentially annual plant sale organized by the class. These sales will further the small budget that the class is originally allocated. Although a profit was made from the sale, the money raised will only cover a portion of the materials the environmental systems class requires.

TAKE A PLANT HOME: Environmental systems teacher Dane Smith sells plants in the courtyard during lunch. Smith and his students sold a variety of plants, including aloe vera, black-eyed susans, and iresine herbstii. (Nick Wong)

“I want to do more plant sales in the future,” Smith said. “I thought about doing one towards the end of May, with more flowers. Something that we might look into in the future is doing some flower sales or finding out what people are interested in buying. For this first sale, we primarily grew things that I had talked about in class. I hadn’t considered flowers, but I think those would have been popular.”

The plant sale was advertised over the school’s morning announcements the week before the sale. Additionally, posters created by environmental systems students gained the sale publicity.

“The plant sale was advertised over the announcements, but that was the week before spring break. So, when everyone got back from break they forgot,” junior Sara Santos said. “In class we also made posters to put up around the hallways, which I think helped raise some awareness.”

The turnout for the sale was on a smaller scale compared to other fundraisers held during school hours.

“I was thinking that if we posted the prices of the plants, which are between $2 and $7, we may have more luck because they’re selling for a lower price than what some people might assume,” junior Zoe Stull said. “So, price tags along each section of the plants could help. I also think that if we did a better job with advertising the sale, either through physical posters or social media, we would have gotten a larger turnout.”

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