LVRHS students 'green' school patio

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  • Drew Togno, 9th grader Photos courtesy of Go Green Club

  • Sophia Angel, 11th grader; Lizbeth Morales, 10th grader

  • From left, Paige Ewer, 12th grader; Monica McCarthy, 12th grader; Charlotte Ottoson, 12th grader; Jessica Pierson, 12th grader; Alexa Petrie, 9th grader; Olivia Gallagher, 9th grader

  • From left, Katelyn Andolena, 11th grader; Mackenzie Delahanty, 12th grader; Paige Dellosso, 12th grader

  • From left, Kenny Sanchez, 12th grader; Brandon Fiallos, 11th grader; Brad Beckert, 12th grader; Michael Fricke, 12th grader; Joshua Gavinho, 12th grader; Jonathan Zevetchin, 12th grader

— On Wednesday October 11, 2017, the Go Green Club of Lenape Valley Regional High School hosted a reception on the back patio of the school. This reception was held to showcase this valuable resource to club members and to the faculty of the school. More than thirty people attended and enjoyed refreshments provided by Go Green Club members. Club officers expressed their happiness that so many members attended the reception, brought food and were able to enjoy the weather as well as the beautiful view from the newly installed picnic tables.

The back patio is a new addition to Lenape Valley, which opened in September. With five picnic tables providing seating for forty, including a handicap accessible table, the back patio is open to students and faculty to eat lunch as well as to be utilized as an outdoor classroom. Student Paige Ewer said she finds it convenient that she is able to come out, especially after school, to do homework, rather than being stuck inside. Media center specialist, Mrs. Lauren Brill, said she enjoys having a nice spot outside to enjoy her lunch. The greenscape garden was designed by Mr. Craig Ely, head of the grounds crew at Lenape Valley and Mrs. Rachel Strodel science teacher and faculty advisor of the Go Green Club, and is meant to provide a habitat for local pollinator species including monarchs and hummingbirds. Plants were chosen with these pollinator species in mind and students of the Go Green Club and Mrs. Strodel’s Biology and Environmental Science classes were able to pick their favorite flowers and plant them. Members of the Go Green Club have been instrumental in helping the grounds crew with the maintenance of the garden, including regular watering throughout this dry fall season. Monarch butterflies released into the garden weeks ago were seen by students during the reception as the gardens provide important habitat for this declining population.

Teachers have been using the back patio to have students read articles, short stories, poems or to hold class discussion, go over lab results, or answer document based questions. Soon, there will be an outdoor electrical outlet installed so that music teacher and band instructor David DiGrazia can bring his classes out to play music.

Mr. Ely and Mrs. Strodel will continue to work with students in the spring as additional flowers are planted, umbrellas are purchased for the picnic tables, and hummingbird feeders and birdhouses for local bluebirds are put up. In particular, Montauk daisies will be planted to attract butterflies, for students and faculty to enjoy well into the fall, as these flowers are able to withstand frost, and are rabbit-proof and deer resistant. Due to the enthusiastic response to this outdoor space additional seating will be provided with more picnic tables and/or benches. All of this will be accomplished with the help and hard work of Lenape Valley students for the benefit of the entire Lenape Valley community.

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