Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and BrightView Install Gardens

 

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida were trying to create a garden and outdoor classroom space, but could never get it completed. Following the tragedy of Feb. 14, BrightView volunteers worked with students and faculty at the school to complete the outdoor leaning space, adding educational gardens, a butterfly garden, and a reflective and tranquility garden.

(For the full transcript, see below.)

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Video Transcription

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and BrightView install gardens

MICHAEL LASHBROOK, BrightView Business Developer:

After what happened here at Stoneman Douglas, a good family friend of mine went here and I knew her younger sister went here. I automatically reached out to them first and foremost to make sure that they were OK and secondly, I asked how BrightView could get involved. She then put me in touch with Mr. Jeter.

KYLE JETER, Marjory Stoneman Douglas science teacher:

I went through a slideshow with BrightView showing how, over two years, we have had our ups and downs. We're always kind of struggling to get going, and then we'd get going and it would be summertime. Then we had the hurricane come through and, of course, we had the tragedy on Feb. 14. We realized at that point the garden was going to be something much different than it was. The importance level had risen so much.

BRYAN WALTERS, BrightView Account Manager:

One night at about 10 p.m., Mike Lashbrook, our Business Developer, texted me and said he really wanted to do something for the school after the tragic event happened. We just started talking about it on the phone about potentially designing some sort of garden.

LEXI SMITH, Marjory Stoneman Douglas student:

I'm a student at Stoneman Douglas High School and I got involved in the garden when I heard about it through another club. Since I was already interested in gardening and sustainability and learning more about it, I thought I would be a great addition to the team in what they were trying to start.

JETER:

BrightView got in contact with a student of mine and started talking and then they talked to me. They came out and looked at the area and put together an amazing plan for the garden.

LASHBROOK:

We had a great partnership with the school throughout the entire process. We tried to get the students involved, as well as the faculty. We came to the site over multiple weekends to get the students' feedback through the drawings and renderings we provided.

SMITH:

When BrightView first came out, they helped us by planning out what their ideas and really getting the students' thoughts and the teachers' thoughts on what we wanted to do and what we really wanted the garden to be.

JETER:

They made it happen. That was the thing - it's one thing to put all these things together and, "Let's build this here and this here," but to come out and actually do it and have that many employees come out here and create this entire space.

SMITH:

It just represents the community as a whole and the students and everybody else coming together to make something amazing.

WALTERS:

At the end of the day, there was a lot of meaning to what we did here and we know that what we did had an impact on the students and the faculty.

LASHBROOK:

Words can't describe the feeling of what it meant to us, especially being in our backyard. It meant a lot and knowing how grateful the students and the faculty were is amazing.

SMITH:

My favorite things are probably our new butterfly garden and the classroom area because it really allows people to get a feel for nature and it lets students actually work in the garden.

JETER:

We're so grateful to BrightView for this. They'll always be associated with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from now on. That means a lot. I'm very proud of the school. It has been my home forever. This means a lot to all of us.