Giving Life

Kevin JB Kim, Staff Writer

On September 15, 2012, West High School PTSA held a school beautification on campus. The beautification was dedicated to improve the plants on campus by eliminating weeds and creating space for the native plants. The beatification compromised of cleaning trash, building the garden, and taking care of the plants around campus. The volunteers helped by pulling weeds and digging trenches. Swetha Akella (10) claimed that “the trenches helped the water reach the plants effectively.” Some volunteers cleared a plot of land with pickaxes and other tools to provide soft soil for theCalifornia plants to grow in. The beautification began around 8:00 a.m. and ended around noon.

Many volunteers came for different reasons. Students in Environment club stayed for the full four hours, while students from Chemistry AP like Kevin Kim (10) and Catherine Sun (11) stayed for only two hours. Kim stated, “Pulling weeds for hours is a difficult task and a bit boring, but the outcome was worth the effort.” Haseeb Khan (10) helped to clean up the garden and throw away the weeds. Khan describes the experience as rewarding and joked about “the abundant amount of weeds” that he threw away. Sun described the weeds as the “Bermuda grass [which] stymies the growth of other plants because it soaks up the water in the soil and can stay dormant in the soil if its roots are still present.” Matthew Mizuta (11) simply states that the weeds are the “devil weeds” due to the weeds’ ability to drain the water from surrounding sources. Through the beautification, the volunteers learned about the benefits that native plants can provide to the environment and the harmful effects of weeds like the Bermuda grass.

Mizuta puts it best when he says, “I learned about the difficulty of creating a garden. Life does not happen easily. There are many requirements for things to survive. The work is difficult and never over, but it can be done.”