In observance of Earth Day, Jupiter Middle School volunteers organized a special day of landscaping to improve the appearance of the school grounds. Organized by the PTO and Treehuggers Club, parents and students worked together to install many new plants and trees in front of the school building.
The new landscape plan, which incorporated the school’s official blue and gold colors in the foliage, was donated by Becky Brinich, a parent of the Jupiter Middle community and professional landscape designer. Lidonni Nursery and Horizon Landscape Management assisted with the delivery of plant materials and trees. A grant for the project was presented by Holding Hands Foundation, a local grass-roots 501c3 group whose mission is to assist local groups and families facing challenging times. Calusa Creek Tree Farm, located in Stuart, donated a Red Maple which was also planted on the school’s campus in honor of Earth Day/Arbor Day. A goal of the project was to keep the new landscaping low-maintenance by including native and Florida-friendly plants which are particularly eco-friendly and more tolerant of the weather, requiring less water and no fertilization.
“We had excellent attendance from our volunteers who prepared the area and planted a combination of almost two hundred blue plumbago and yellow lantana, and seven new trees,” said Lisa Zern, teacher and sponsor of the school’s Treehuggers environmental club. “It is our hope that this initiative will instill a sense of awareness among our families and community on the importance of volunteerism and maintaining a green environment.” Ms. Zern secured a $300 grant from the Palm Beach County Green School Program to help pay for planting materials. The School District helped by removing old shrubs and repainting the school sign encircling the school’s flagpole.
“Our volunteers wanted to make our campus more visually appealing and this project makes a bold statement about our school community, said David Culp, Principal of Jupiter Middle. “It shows that we not only take pride in our school, but more importantly that our students and parents can truly make a difference.”
PTO President Carol Smykowski added, “The Earth Day project was the first phase of planned improvements for our school grounds. While PTO’s primary role is fundraising to support teacher and classroom materials and supplies not funded by the School District, we have recently also started a new campaign to try and raise $35,000 to replace the school’s original marquee sign out on Military Trail.”
For more information please contact PTO President Carol Smykowski at 561-741-1155.