A new group, the Lewiston-Porter Plant and Garden Club, has been improving the environment of Lewiston this summer. Members of this student group have been active weeding gardens, on their own time, that needed attention. The academic adviser for the group will be John Mango.
The first garden improved was the memory garden located near the Red Brick in Lewiston – and the group’s efforts were noticed. Village of Lewiston Mayor Anne Welch said, “It is great that young people step up to do community service and help to beautify Lewiston.”
On Wednesday, Aug. 18, it assisted with clean-up of the Femmes en Force Garden located on Center Street. Shown in the picture at this garden are Kristin Wilson and Nathan Rhoads working at this site with guidance provided by individuals who care for this garden on a regular basis.
The student group was formed because Rhoads developed an interest in plants including trees and wildflowers. A year ago, he came up with the idea to start a club and share his passion with other people in the school district. He wasn’t completely certain what the club would accomplish, but said, “I’m happy with the direction it’s going with community service projects.”
The club will officially start during the upcoming school year and, as of now, there are approximately 15 members. Meetings will be held on a regular basis at Lew-Port High School after the school day is over.
The work the group will undertake will be good contributory experience for future careers.
Rhoads said, “As a high school senior, college is right around the corner. In college, I would like to major in environmental engineering, while also minoring in plant breeding or horticulture. My dream school is Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I would also like to attend UB or University of Rochester.”
With the success of its work so far, the group will keep improving gardens on and off the school’s campus. Rhoads said members, “plan on revamping the athletic field’s gardens on my school’s campus and other gardens across the community.”
A specific project the group is starting is a native wildflower garden near the PEC at Lew-Port. This garden will be a collection of plants that are native to Western New York. It will serve as a home for pollinator insects and birds that are becoming endangered in the area. The club will also plant roses and decorative flowers. Community members can assist the group by contributing plant donations for the gardens.
The Lewiston Garden Club will support this new club’s efforts and offer a limited number of scholarships for qualified candidates who pursue higher education that improves the environment. The Lewiston Garden Club accomplishes this with funds raised from GardenFest.