HHS Goes Native With Native Plants

By: Brenna Holycross

There won’t be anymore pests at Hershey High School after this Community Day session.

Hershey High School took on their first Community Day on Friday, April 29, 2016. Out of all the sessions, Native Plants: Campus Planting Activity was one of them. Stephen Newell, a HHS Environmental Teacher, ran this session. He explained to the students that planting native plants are important for a lot of reasons. Some of these reasons are how native plants are insect, pest, and drought resistant. Also, native plants support the pollinators in the area. Then the students were off to the HHS Courtyards.

Ollie Herndons, a HHS Sophomore, spread mulch on the newly planted native plants on April 29th, 2016. He was a part of the group that spread the mulch around the plants, so the plants could get nutrients.
Ollie Herndons, a HHS Sophomore, spread mulch on the newly planted native plants on April 29th, 2016. He was a part of the group that spread the mulch around the plants, so the plants could get nutrients.

The first thing the students did was get organized. They split up into several groups. One group shoveled and created places where plants could go, the second group organized the plants based on what size they are, and the third group transported mulch from outside behind the cafeteria to the courtyards.

The third group transported the mulch in five, five gallon buckets. The mulch contained lots of organic material which will help the plants grow.

After the mulch was transported to the courtyards, Newell created small holes in the ground that were a foot deep, so the students can put small plants in.


When the students started putting in the small native plants, other HHS students started to surround the plants with the new mulch. This new mulch, when applied correctly, not only can it add beauty, but it can prevent damage to the plants and improve the soil structure.

As the session came to an end, the students wiped off their muddy hands and shoes. “We did the best we could for the current weather conditions,” Newell said.

A lot of students agreed saying it was a lot of fun, and they are glad they chose this session. However, they would have enjoyed it more if it was warm and sunny.

Sara Neagley a HHS Sophomore said “I enjoyed this session a lot. I have always wanted to have a garden at my house, and being able to create one here made it a lot of fun.”