Upper School Greenhouse Activity Students Use Their Green Thumbs for Service

Upper School Greenhouse Activity Students Use Their Green Thumbs for Service
A group of students in the Upper School led by Greenhouse Coordinator Paige Witte worked with Taking Ownership PDX earlier this month to help restore the backyard of a woman from a Portland neighborhood. The organization works to revive Black-owned homes for people who have requested their help. Director for Equity & Inclusion Dyan Watson and All-School Equity Coach Willow McCormick visited with Witte and suggested the greenhouse activity might try to coordinate a project for this local nonprofit. Two of the greenhouse student leaders reached out to the organization’s founder to set everything up and determine what was needed. McCormick spoke with Witte’s class about the history of gentrification in the specific neighborhood where they would be working. This community engagement experience offered the opportunity for OES students to offer their green thumbs and expertise to a homeowner who was overwhelmed with long-overdue maintenance and abandoned projects taking over her backyard. The homeowner shared how happy she was with the students and how much she appreciated their time and energy. She even purchased seeds for the school’s greenhouse to help with future planting projects as a personal thank you.