Niagara Gazette

September 26, 2013

Students, faculty tackle Lew-Port landscaping trouble spot

Students, faculty tackle Lew-Port landscaping trouble spot

By Timothy Chipp timothy.chipp@niagara-gazette.com
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — For a few years, the grounds outside Lewiston-Porter Middle School’s main entrance looked to be in disarray. A small patch of flowers, meant to be a bit of a garden, was overrun with weeds.

Amy Golden, a teacher at the school, figured she’d try to do something about it one afternoon last school year. But as she quickly found out, the garden was beyond saving.

“The old garden bed was overgrown with weeds,” she said. “One day, I thought I’d try to clean it up a little, make it look a little nicer. But it was beyond clean up. It was far gone.”

Instead of giving up, though, she refused to take nature’s out-of-control growth as how the school’s entryway, the primary place for students, teachers, staff and parents look each morning and afternoon, should look. She developed a plan to address the growth and, over the course of the summer, put it into action.

The first step was to find a local landscaping contractor who could assist through a small donation of topsoil. She placed a call to Lewiston-based A-1 Landcare to see how the company could help. It turned into one of the best calls she could’ve placed.

“I called A-1 thinking they could donate some topsoil for the project,” she said. “We didn’t know how we’d do the rest, whether we’d do some fundraising or what. A-1 called back and said they’d donate the topsoil, the plants and the manpower.”

So Drew Langston, A-1’s registered landscape architect, met with both Golden and school Principal Dean Ramirez about the next step in the beautification project, which called for some of the garden’s greens to be moved alongside the ramp to the front door.

The August conversations resulted in what took place Tuesday, as a group of about 30 students, three teachers, Langston and A-1 landscaper William Whitmore completed the first phase of a larger project. They successfully spruced up the main walkway leading up to the main office, while also bringing some life to the base of the school’s flagpole.

Part of the school’s Builder’s Club, the students took time after school to make the work easier on the professionals who made it happen.

“We don’t usually get that much help,” Langston said, putting the finishing touches on the work. “It turned out pretty good.”

With Tuesday’s project finished, attention for Golden, Ramirez and those involved shifts to spreading away from the main entryway. Golden said she’d like to see the school’s two other ramps receive the same treatment in the future. Beyond those, she’d like to see a small memorial around the flag pole and even a few decorative trees, like crabapples, planted around the front drive.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.