In collaboration with West Career and Technical Academy Environmental Management seniors, the Program Approach to Career Employment and the Postsecondary Opportunities for Students in Transition (PACE and POST) program began constructing planters throughout the school to harvest herbs on Feb. 17.

“With this project, what we really want to do is help teach [PACE and POST’s] students how to grow a sustainable garden, so that they can take that knowledge home and be able to grow good, nutritional vegetables,” WCTA senior Nishesh Yadav. “When you eat a vegetable that you grow yourself, it’s more satisfying.”

After contacting PACE instructor Ms. Melinda Oldroyd and POST instructor Dr. Allenda Zionch, WCTA Social Studies instructor Mr. Reid Marlowe recruited WCTA seniors Jared Diamond, Mariah Ward and Nishesh Yadav to build the planters and grow vegetables.

“We are in the Environmental Management program, so getting to help out, build a garden and teach other kids about the environment and how to take care of plants is a good experience for us,” Ward said.

After harvesting the vegetables, students in the Culinary Arts program will utilize them as ingredients.

“We’ll be planting a variety of herbs that we can use in our Culinary program,” Oldroyd said. “For example, we’ll plant lettuce, parsley and those kinds of things.”

Currently, the foundations for the planters on the south side of the ‘C’ building and the north side of the ‘G’ building have been constructed. More planters may be added to the landscape depending on resources and time.

“Ms. Levy saw [Stephen Ritz] in New York I believe, and he started a program for disadvantaged youth, took the byproducts of what they grew and gave them to young people who needed them,” Oldroyd said.

On Feb. 19, the WCTA seniors will return to the campus and resume construction on the planters.

“It’s great that we’re able to help out kids at your school,” Diamond said. “Usually, you’re not able to have such a partnership between schools. I think we have a lot to offer because we have a greenhouse [at WCTA], and if we can implement something like that here, or even something close to that, it would help out your school a lot.”