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CHS Horticulture keeps things growing

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DUVALL — The Cedarcrest High Horticulture Department is in

full bloom this spring, thanks to teacher Bianca Linder who started the

program from a seedling.

This is the first year that horticulture is being offered at the school

and student involvement has grown rapidly from only three students in

September to two full classes this term.

"There's a lot of potential here," Linder said. "It's easier to come

when there's nothing and to start something."

"When I first came, I had a classroom that was full of other

people's junk; now it's full of my junk," she added with a laugh.

Though the class and accompanying Horticulture Club just started,

they already have earned respect as a first-class operation. About 30

students entered a window box in the Flower and Garden Show titled "Once

Upon a Time" which featured five handmade mushrooms, flying fairies and a

wood-carved gnome. The students democratically chose what elements to

include in the design and even combined several suggestions to formulate

their idea. And when it was all done, Linder said that she was confident that

her students would impress the judges.

"I had a feeling they would get it," she said. "I promote the kids to be

as creative as they can."

The students have been working on other projects throughout the

year, as well. For every holiday the Horticulture Club was sure to celebrate

it, whether it was to make Evergreen wreaths for Christmas, festive

centerpieces for Thanksgiving or sell single roses for Valentine's Day.

"We started a lot of new traditions this year and I'm really proud of

that," said Horticulture Club President Jessica Druschba.

"Bianca brings a lot of enthusiasm for the new program and she's a

go-getter and she doesn't sit back and wait for people," Principal

Clarence Lavarias said of the 1993 Tolt High graduate. "If she sees that

something needs to be done, she'll get the process rolling."

Next on the agenda for the club is a Mother's Day plant sale/fund

raiser where the students will sell hundreds of annuals, perennials, herbs,

vegetables and baskets. The department will also hold a ribbon cutting

ceremony that week to commemorate the newly erected greenhouse.

"I told them that when they hired me to expect a greenhouse,"

Linder said.

But she wouldn't have been able to do it without the support and

donations from local companies including Cedarcrest PTSA, Carlson

Trucking, Linder Electric and Cherry Valley Plumbing & Heating.

"The program couldn't have gotten to a good start without the help

of the PTSA and community — and a lot of volunteers — it was a team

effort," Lavarias said. "It cost a lot of

money to put up the greenhouse and without the volunteerism and the

donations from the groups, we could not have done it and we appreciate their

support."

The Horticulture Club's Mother's Day Sale will be held from noon to

5 p.m. on Friday, May 12, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. All

proceeds will support the horticulture program.

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