On Tuesday, May 17, the LRHS Environmental Club dedicated their club project, a butterfly garden, to the school and community.
Sam Freeze, Environmental Club president, gave a speech at the dedication ceremony. “I really just talked about the uses of butterfly gardens, and explained why we planted it,” he recollected.
The butterfly garden discussion meetings began in February. A group of dedicated officers helped to organize the necessary budget and plan for planting. Freeze noted the club’s monetary situation: “There was a lot of built-up money in our budget from previous years when nothing was done. [Club dues are] three dollars, and that added up to a decent amount of money.”
Freeze also made sure to set aside money for garden upkeep over the years to come. He also created a care manual and guide for future Environmental Clubs.
Like the garden, the Environmental Club has also grown. “[Environmental Club] wasn’t big, nothing really got done, and the meetings were boring,” Freeze said.
As of this year, every meeting usually had a guest speaker or a demonstration. Earlier this year, Freeze brought in his bees for a beekeeping demonstration.
“[At one meeting] Lisa Gatens, who is the curator of mammals at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, came to a meeting and talked about white nose syndrome, which is becoming more and more common in bats on the east coast,” Freeze reminisced.
Outside of the meetings, the Environmental Club was very active in keeping the Leesville community clean. Three times this year, club members spent their afternoons cleaning up around the school. Freeze noted that the club’s biggest challenges were keeping the student parking lot and courtyard clean. “People eat their food and just throw the wrappers on the ground or into the bushes.”
The club also took a trip to Blue Jay Point earlier in the year. Environmental Clubs from other schools along with a few scout troops cleaned the Falls Lake watershed. In one day, the effort collected 1,340 pounds of trash. The one-day outing was part of a statewide effort called the “Big Sweep,” in which volunteers spent thousands of hours making the state litter-free.
Because of all the new activities that the Environmental Club has enacted this year, Freeze will have his hands full as next years’ club president. “I’m looking forward to next year,” Freeze said. “We have new traditions and really dedicated officers…Environmental Club will continue to be as successful as it was this year.”