Who's Been Planting Flowers All Over Long Beach? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/05/04

Who's Been Planting Flowers All Over Long Beach?

They're planting, watering and watching what was once a bare courtyard bloom with beauty. Take one look at the garden at the Long Beach Children's Library and you would probably think professional landscapers had a hand in designing and creating it. It's actually the work of students from the Long Beach Alternative School.

Victoria Magers is the school counselor.

"They are kind of paying back service to the community for being able to attend the school and get the opportunity to improve their behaviors and work towards goals."

Behavioral problems landed most of the students in the Alternative School. But the gardening project is planting seeds of hope that the students will get back on track.

13-year old Canvice Ball said, "It made me see that I can have another chance. I'm thinking about going into landscaping myself cause it's fun".

Gavin Kershaw has been in the program for about a month.

"I didn't know we were going to start planting and everything. I thought we would sit down and do work and nothing else. I didn't know it would be so fun."

Students spend about two-hours a week on projects that beautify the city. As they watch their garden grow, their pride also blossoms.

"They really like the experience of being outside and seeing things grow and seeing a finished product. They like taking something from nothing and build it to something that's beautiful," Magers said.

Throughout the year, the Alternative students have been planting flowers in front of their school, at the district office, and the police department. The beautification project is funded by a state grant.

by Trang Pham-Bui

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