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The News Website for Glendale High School


The News Website for Glendale High School


Beautifying Campus with Gardening Club

A presidential duo are helping to make our school a nicer place, one plant at a time.
Garine and Marie (back row, center) and their Gardening Club members

Botanists speak of a phenomenon known as “plant blindness”, whereas most people go through life essentially “blind” to the plant life surrounding them, paying no mind to the existence of the verdant life all around them. Walking around campus, you likely haven’t really stopped to think about the plants surrounding you, either. It’s not abnormal; most people haven’t done so. 

But thankfully, not everyone is blind to plants. 

Garine Melkonian and Marie Kaloghlian are the co-presidents and founders of Glendale High School’s own Gardening Club. Unlike others, they very much pay attention to plants. Indeed, the story of the club’s invention is almost an inversion of that phenomenon. 

Garine and Marie were once rifling through old yearbook photos, and rather than focusing on animals and artifice, they looked past the people in the photos to see the plants in the background. What they saw was a campus that was much greener than the one they saw around them in the present, and they decided to do something about it. 

Weeding is apparently the hardest job for their Gardening Club members. Fast-growing invasives are everywhere, but they say they can “figure out as they go” with how to deal with them.

You can already see the work that Garine and Marie have done around campus. If you look at the slope in front of the Glen Wellness Center, they’ve planted several native plants that are shade-tolerant, drought-tolerant, and environmentally friendly. In the Art Quad, they have weeded, put down landscape fabric, and surrounded the plants with white rocks for extra beautification.

Marie is digging for campus beautification.

Garine and Marie believe that they’re already making a positive impact on our school. They are personally happy to see their work on campus, as looking at something and saying, “Oh, we did that,” is, as they say, a great feeling. 

But even beyond personal satisfaction, Garine and Marie think that their work affects other students, even if only subconsciously. That is, a more beautiful campus makes people happier, even if they aren’t aware of it.

Both club presidents have a long history of community involvement. Garine came to the US from Iraq as a first-grader, and she says that she has always had a “passion in [her] to represent the school.” Marie was born and raised here in Glendale, and she loves being involved in school as well. 

In addition, both friends have participated in quite a few different programs before. Garine performed music, Marie played basketball, and they’re involved together in girls tennis and ASB. They’re even now the President and Vice-President of the Senior Class, members of the Armenian Club, and President and Vice President of the Make-A-Wish Club

Despite sharing so many shared interests, the co-presidents are still, of course, different people. Garine said that her greatest strength is her positivity. “Everything that has a bad, has a good,” she said. 

Every cloud has a silver lining, and though it may be important to acknowledge the negative, it’s also important to learn and grow from each experience. Marie, meanwhile, says that her greatest strength is adaptability–the ability to focus on any program and to work on it rather than succumbing to panic. This trait has helped her greatly in her work with the Gardening Club. 

Garine believes that, later in life, she wants to go into the medical field, although she’s uncertain on a specific profession. Marie, meanwhile, plans to go into accounting and take over her uncle’s business. But more than this, she really wants to travel, even to the point of calling it her “main goal in life”. 

Garine and Marie would like to remind everyone that they’re “always looking for new members” and that people are “always welcome to join” their club. They meet on Mondays, about once or twice a month, and they notify their members about gardening events through their Remind account, whose code is “ghsgard”. 

For more information about Gardening Club, you can also contact Mrs. Bedrousi at [email protected], or you can follow them on Instagram: @ghs.gardeningclub.

About the Contributor
Dashiell Takeuchi
Dashiell Takeuchi, Staff Writer
Dashiell Takeuchi is a senior at Glendale High School. Having come out of JDL, he speaks both English and Japanese with some minor degree of fluency, and he is currently attempting to learn Spanish as well. He enjoys reading both fiction and nonfiction, and he has a fondness for writing and drawing himself, although he never makes enough time for it.
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