Hebron News

Native Garden Blooms in Senior Courtyard

Mt. Hebron officially opened a Native Garden in the senior courtyard on Sept. 20. Featuring Maryland flowers, the garden helps promote bee pollination and filter polluted water.

Last year, Ms. Heather Cassetta, Mr. Paul Sabota, and Ms. Valerie Wetstone’s GT Biology classes spent most of their class time outside in the Senior Courtyard. This group of students devoted time and energy to helping the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

In the Mt. Hebron community, flooding from previous storms has caused polluted water to run into the streams and rivers. To help prevent this problem, Mt. Hebron Biology students worked to plant different types of native flowers including Black Eyed Susans, Sweet Pepper Bushes, Butterfly Weeds and New England Asters.

“They serve as a visual example of the plants that are native to our watershed, and we need to take care of our watershed,” said sophomore Lara Abedin, who worked with her peers and teachers to help take care of their watershed. “The health has been declining, and [we] need to bring it back up.”

The flowers and plants have also helped the Mt. Hebron’s Senior Courtyard’s bee problem. Around the world, bees are a necessity to human function, but the population of pollinating bees has been dropping due to Colony Collapse Disorder and diseases.

Sophomore Alex Zambidis, another GT Biology student from last year, said, “If the bees go away, so does the food we eat. It is not that this garden will do a lot, but being the first and taking action and initiative, we are spreading awareness that there are issues that need to be fixed.”

Many important school officials were at the ribbon cutting ceremony as well as many different people working to improve the environment. This included Mt. Hebron Principal, Dr. Joelle Miller, and Howard County Executive, the Honorable Allan Kittleman.

Students were posted at each of the four corners to talk about the different aspects and importance of the flowers and helping the watershed as naturalists walked around to with these individuals. At the end of the presentation, the group of selected students, along with their teachers and guests, cut the ribbon that opened the beautiful garden to everyone.

Over the next few years, GT Biology students from all grades will be adding to the project not only to make the courtyard beautiful, but also to show the community that Mt. Hebron is ready to fight to keep our environment clean.