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Plant Club Looking to Grow

Some of the first seedlings to sprout from the club’s collection. Photo credit: Natalie Robbins

“I love plants,” Kenzie Kempa (‘20)said, defining her motivation behind the creation of one of Forest Hills Eastern’s newest clubs, the Plant Club, with her friends. While Kempa has a daunting number of plants – thirty-six to be exact – a vast collection is not a prerequisite for the club. There is only one: the love of plants. 

The Plant Club is the product of Raelyn Baker (‘20), Harrison Centner (‘20), Hannah Ferrer (‘20), and Kenzie Kempa’s projects for Ms. Cvengros’ Design Thinking program, a process in which students brainstorm and implement concepts that improve Forest Hills Eastern. They have extrapolated data from research implying the positive effects of greenery on our physical and mental wellbeing, creating a place where students can feel welcome in a small community of a shared interest.

The club meets weekly in Mr. Visser’s room. A wall comprised entirely of windows lets in every ray of sunlight and amplifies it, transforming the classroom into what is essentially a well-insulated greenhouse. Visser has taken advantage of this even before the Plant Club’s founding, caring for the menagerie of different vegetation that creates a wall next to the glass. This collection has grown both in number and physical size since the science teacher first began his time at FHE two years ago. 

An example of hydroponic gardening. Photo credit: Greenroofs.org

Just two meetings in, the club has already started its first major project. “We’re growing a hydroponic garden,” Centner explained. “There’s a tower with a pump. It doesn’t need soil and the plants just grow from there.” Among the many varieties of plants that will be grown are beets, strawberries, basil, and kale. Visser is responsible for taking care of them during the week, but club members check their progress every session.

There are also smaller projects taken on as the plants grow. For instance, in the latest session, members painted a number of clay pots. The club offers a variety of opportunities for both plant experts and those who simply admire them. 

Interested in becoming a member? The Plant Club meets every Wednesday after school in A224. The agenda for this week includes more pot painting and possibly transplanting the seedlings onto the wall – don’t miss out!

The finished pots from last week’s session. Photo credit: Natalie Robbins