Maintenance staff works to keep trees, plants healthy and also beautify neglected areas

November 1, 2017 — by Karen Chow and Kaitlyn Wang

“With the unusually warm weather, they suffer a little bit because they’re used to having a little more moisture in the fall than hot weather like this,” principal Paul Robinson said. “We love having our redwood trees around because they add so much to our campus, so whatever we can do to try to get them the water that they need so that they can survive is important.”

Robinson said that what may look like waste to students is something the district has budgeted for, and the money can’t be spent in other places.

Another example of maintenance money work is a grassy area near the redwoods that has been fenced off to try to bring the lawn back to life, according to Moran. A modified irrigation system will water the grass more evenly.  

“Right now it is spotty, so there are some dried out spots that are just bare dirt and no grass,” Moran said. “We are trying to renovate that area and restore it. It is taking longer than I envisioned, but that is why the fencing is up.”

The grass may be sensitive to a lack of water, but most of what has been planted around campus is drought-tolerant, he said. For example, the lower field and softball field, which used to make up two acres of grass that needed to be watered, were changed to turf two years ago. Especially with record rainfall last year, the drought did not affect plants on campus severely, Moran said.

Not only is Moran’s crew renovating the irrigation of the trees in the quad, but they are also working to transform a plot of land near the pool by the front parking lot.

 

The maintenance team and volunteers from various churches are planning on remodeling it into an area that will look similar to Hyde Park, located behind the library, where there are a couple of in-ground tables and a sidewalk that meanders through the grass, plants and trees.

“Our goal is to make it more visually pleasing and useful for both the students and staff,” Moran said.  

According to Robinson, Menlo Church, which is across the street from the front of the school, wanted to work on a service project with the school, so Moran suggested a renovation of the area in front of the swimming pool. Menlo Church will be buying materials and sending volunteers.

The front of the pool is currently a dirt patch because of the drought. The school turned off the water to about 70 perfect of the grass areas around campus to preserve water. However, with the help of the Measure E  bond, many plants have been re-planted near the music building and the front of the school.

From watering the redwood trees to remodeling the plot of land in front of the swimming pool, the school is undergoing many small improvements to create a welcoming atmosphere.

“One of the things that we take pride in is that our school looks pretty good,” Robinson said. “We want to be a good environment for our students as they come in and enjoy it. We’re grateful that the church and the ASB are kind of combining together on something that we think is going to make it look even nicer.”

 

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