High school landscaping students get their hands dirty

Published 11:34 am Saturday, June 6, 2015

Contributed Photo/Jeanne Cope David Crockett High School landscapign students with teachers Ryan Arnett and Josh Conger.

Contributed Photo/Jeanne Cope
David Crockett High School landscapign students with teachers Ryan Arnett and Josh Conger.

The Joyful Gardener
Good morning, gardeners!
One of the things that make my heart sing is a group of students working on a project and loving every minute of learning and working together. The teachers of the landscaping class at David Crockett High School in Jonesborough are Ryan Arnett and Josh Conger. School Principal Andy Hare was all smiles approving the project and the finished work.
One thing is certain, working with students is a challenge if you wish, but with teachers who know how to light a passion for plans and projects learn, the job is easy and fun for everyone. Smiling teachers, school officials, and students is a result to be proud of by everyone involved.
The project was the result of conversations between teachers Arnett and Conger. The idea was to take a weed-overgrown triangle into various driveways and turn it into a landscaping miracle. The project involved talking with Meade Tractor to see whether the company might donate a few plants for the project. A great surprise, Meade Tractor said they would provide all the materials to plant the area and assume full sponsorship of the project.
A trailer of plants was donated, all shapes and sizes including perennials to edge the new garden. Students learned about plants, how to locate them to the best advantage in the garden, how to dig a proper hole and plant the donated materials. A photo of the vacant space compared with the finished work is a wonder to behold. All students and faculty of David Crockett High School, their parents, and visitors will enjoy this new space for years to come.
The students involved in the project included those in the photograph, Andy Starnes, Jacob Ferguson, Hunter Ward, Eric Whaley Landon Masters, and Jacob Price. In the photo, the man in the dark shirt at the end is Principal Andy Hare, and on the other end in the Tennessee Cap, is teacher Josh Conger.
Conger and Arnett make a great team of teachers; Conger helps light fires of excitement, drums up contributions, sends letters explaining the benefit to the area in a partnership with the school, and teaches, while Arnett is leader and role model, teaching students the fine points of planning and growing. The project demonstrates a symbiotic relationship between the town and the school.
Talking with the students, their favorite job with the project was edging and building saucers around the plants to hold water. The easiest planting was perennials and the hardest job of all was digging holes in hard, dry clay soil. Another fun part of the job was watering when they took turns watering the plans and each other.
Hare, the principal, said it was exciting to know students in the landscape class did this project, which provided growing room and gave everyone a sense of pride. It was especially nice to see the civilized look of the vacant area accomplished with a lot of hard work by everyone involved. An attractive entrance to the campus adjacent to classroom buildings gives students further pride in their school. We say Hooray for David Crockett High School and the students.
Happy gardening, everyone!
Jeanne Cope is a freelance garden writer and a UT Lifetime Master Gardener. Reach her at jeanne@jeannecope.com. Send questions and comments about her column to community@elizabethton.com.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox