Gardening Club is Making New Roots in City High

How the club is using City High’s greenhouse and new garden to grow their own produce


Sadie Bodzin

Claire Hartiwig ’25 observes the greenhouse’s out of season plant’s being grown by the Gardening Club

Sadie Bodzin and Kate Meis

Amid the second trimester the frosty winter months make it hard to sprout new life outdoors. Even so, City High’s Gardening club continues to operate, growing things out of season. Utilizing the greenhouse, the club carries on growing plants and produce.

The club, which is advised by Mrs. Lestina and co-run by Matisse Arnone ‘23 and Nora Gibson ’23, meets Wednesdays after school from 4:15 – 5:00 with additional work on some weekends maintaining the gardens behind the school. The club, which was originally combined with Environmental Club, was separated into its own club last year.

“Gardening club is a club for students interested in gardening, so we take care of the City High greenhouse that we have attached to the classroom and then also we have some garden space behind the biology rooms too,” Lestina said.

During the winter season, the club utilizes the greenhouse which is attached to Lestina’s classroom in order to continue growing plants and produce.

“With the gardening club, we plant things that we feel like planting, that are easy enough to take care of or don’t need a lot of attention. We do like a lot of herbs, lettuce, or house plant type of things,” Arnone said.

While the greenhouse is used in the cold winter months when growing plants proves difficult, the gardening club just began using the newly added planting space as of this year to grow plants outside in the warmer months.

“We have a new plot outside, and three long raised beds so there’s a ton of space to plant more stuff than we’ve ever had before,” Gibson said. “We planted some tulips during the fall and we’ll be able to harvest those in the spring and then plant our garden for the summer, once it warms up again.”

Both Gibson and Arnone are passionate about environmentalism and believe that growing your own food or supporting local gardens has positive effects on the environment.

“Locally grown food is good for the environment because it comes from just a few miles away and there’s nothing closer to home than your own backyard,” Arnone said.

According to Matisse, the goal of the club is to bring awareness to growing your own food and show members how feasible it is to have your own garden.

“It gives them practical applications that they can use outside of school, in their everyday life. So hopefully, students are able to be confident to make their own garden space at home,” Lestina said.

Gibson makes a point to encourage students to join Gardening Club, no matter the skill level, or prior experience and emphasizes that the club doesn’t have to be a big commitment.

“If people are interested in gardening and are beginners and not sure they want to spend a whole bunch of money on resources and not sure where to start, we’ve got a bunch of resources and we can always use more hands,” Gibson said.