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Low-moisture upgrade

Horticulture students from W.A. “Bing” LeCroy Career/Techincal Center are improving the look of the school grounds along with learning about drought tolerant plants.

Yesterday, several students assisted by community volunteers were landscaping around the front entrance as they planted trees, bushes and other flowers. This is a part of a program sponsored by a CAWACO grant to help the horticulture department study drought tolerant landscaping.

Amy Feger, grant adviser for CAWACO, said the $5,000 is a matching grant. The project is totaled at more than $10,000.

“This is a great way for the students to learn more about drought tolerant planting,” she said.

Career-Technical director Carol Easterling said this is important because the students are gaining real-world experience.

“What they used to do is just grow the plants in the greenhouse and sell them,” she said. “Now they are creating the landscape and caring for it.”

Students drafted a plan of how the landscape would look in front of the school. Then, students installed the trees and bushes in front of the school.

They used sod cutters to remove the grass and used a small trackhoe from Thompson Tractors to dig holes for the trees.

A jackhammer was used to remove asphalt in the parking lot behind the front entrance. Several oak trees are being installed on small islands in that parking lot.

“We used to think that water was an endless resource, but it isn’t,” Easterling said. “This is allowing the students to find ways to have good landscaping that doesn’t require as much water to survive.”