Grant to help Richwoods go even more 'green'

By Audrey Wise

November 13, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- 'Green' is all over Richwoods High School, but one group is trying to make it green in a different way.

Right now a section of land in the center of Richwoods School sits practically empty, but two teachers have big plans to change that, as they get the funds.

"We started a vegetable garden at the end of last year and we plan to have blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, fruit trees," said Horticulture teacher Pam Beaver.

Beaver created a master plan for the area, with the help of D. A. Hoerr. But she knows her and her students can't do it all, so she enlisted the help of the Cheryl Lewis and her Earth Club.

Earth club member Brooke Shaw said, "We were given the part of the blueberry patch and that is actually pretty expensive, blueberries are. We will just work on planting them and watering them and growing them."

Cheryl Lewis is being awarded the HOI 19 and CEFCU $1,000 grant. Lewis said the grant money will go toward blueberry plants and other essentials to make the area prosper, "If we need to get fertilizer or any kinds of foods or seeds to expand the area, gardening equipment, gloves."

And both teachers have high hopes for the future.

"We're hoping that eventually we'll have our own farmer's market and be able to produce things to sell and that our community can come in and plant gardens," said Lewis.

But in the meantime, Beaver said it's hand-on learning for all involved, "My students get so much more out of that as well. I hope, eventually, they will take what they learn in here and produce things at their own home."