Troy High School

Promoting plant conservation: Warriors prepare to begin greenhouse construction

Raising awareness of the importance of environmental conservation, the Warrior Horticulture and Botany Club at Troy High School is preparing to commence construction of an on-campus greenhouse behind the 500 building late February.

The organization is finalizing plans to build a 9-feet by 17-feet metal-framed greenhouse. Through a variety of unique fundraisers featuring different drought-tolerant plants, the club has collectively raised the estimated $200 needed for greenhouse construction and maintenance. Members will plant, grow and regularly care for a variety of plants, with an emphasis on native or drought-tolerant plants such as sages and succulents.

The club seeks to promote student interest in plants. Through a variety of activities, including arboretum field trips and succulent plant arrangement events, members learn about different species of plants and learn as well as practice plant taxonomy and identification.

Members hope the greenhouse will highlight the diversity of local plant species and the value of conservation. According to President Sunny Zhang, Warriors often do not realize the valuable role plants play in society.

“We want people to recognize the endemic [and endangered] species around us,” Zhang said. “We need to appreciate the beauty of plants and their diversity. A lot of plants in the world are endangered because people don’t [value], and [thus] destroy, the natural environment.”

Construction of the portable structure, which has been tentatively approved by Warrior administration, will likely take no more than one week. According to Vice President Ming-wei Hung, the greenhouse will educate club members and allow Warriors to have noteworthy hands-on experience in plant care.

“This project is about educating students about plants,” Hung said. “Presentations are just words on a screen; we want students to actually [conduct real-life work].”

Club members also plan to use the greenhouse to learn more about plant biology. According to junior Skye Rutan-Bedard, the completion of the greenhouse offers a unique opportunity to pursue plant experiments involving vertical farming, which is the process of growing plants in vertically-stacked layers, and other plant growing methods.

Prospectively, the club hopes Warriors realize the increasing threat endangered species of plants, such as native plants, face. According to Zhang, the functioning of society is often dependent on the diversity that exists in plant species.

“Our lives depend on a fundamental [level] on [plant] diversity,” Zhang said. “The timber that builds your house [is from a plant and] The disappearance of species [today] undermines [societal] development and innovation. If plant species go extinct somewhere in the world, You might not know, but that plant [may provide a medicine]. You’ll never know.”

Following construction of the greenhouse, club members plan to continue fundraising for other potential upgrades to school landscaping, such as the addition of plant identification signs to better inform Warriors of the diverse ecosystem that exists around them, Zhang said. A future plant sale is scheduled for Feb. 17 after school in the quad.