About a dozen sixth-graders, 10 volunteers from Home Depot and a few staff and faculty members worked to clean up a courtyard at Montgomery Village Middle School on Oct. 22.
“I think the outside should be pretty. When we are walking through the hall, we should be able to see flowers and all,” said Tamyiah Starnes, 11. “And if there are bugs, they need a home.”
The group pulled weeds, cut back overgrown shrubs and picked up trash, collecting 12 large bags of waste for the dump. Then, they planted new plants, spread mulch and swept the walkways.
In less than two hours, the courtyard was transformed with plants that would last through the winter, including burning bush shrubs, named for their brilliant fall foliage, and variegated liriope, an ornamental grass showing green and white against the dark brown mulch.
“I think it is really cool because this is helping the school, we get [student service learning] hours and it’s helping nature,” said Jade Pinkowitz, 11.
Along the way, the students learned about planting, pruning, mulching and even how to use a push broom.
“As we go along, we teach them how to plant and what’s a weed,” said John Roberts, manager of the Germantown Home Depot store.
Roberts spearheaded the project, a repeat of a cleanup at the school two years ago.
“The Home Depot Foundation is all about giving back to the community,” Roberts said. “We volunteer because it’s important to us.”
Christian Bergman, 11, said he has helped with yard work at home and enjoys it because it keeps the environment clean.
“It’s fun getting all the weeds out of the dirt,” he said. “It’s making it look nice.”