Home > How you can help, Our community, Value of a library > Valuable Volunteers: Mrs. Wiegand’s Wonderful Weeders and Waterers

Valuable Volunteers: Mrs. Wiegand’s Wonderful Weeders and Waterers

Eighth grade boys learn how to transplant flowers under the watchful guidance of a parent volunteer.

Middle School Counselor Sue Wiegand says she works with many avid readers in the HFL class of 2016. So when she had the idea this summer of “adopting” a few of the gardens around the library, it seemed a natural to invite her eighth grade “bookworms” to help out.

A few days after having the idea, “I ran into several of them at the opening of the new library,” Wiegand says. “They were excited about the idea and readily agreed to help me out. We planned a day to work on the one bed, scheduling an hour for working followed by 30 minutes to socialize and eat ice cream, as well as hang out in the new library.”

To date, Wiegand, her students and some of their family members have worked at the library on four different occasions, each time for an hour followed by a 30 minute snack, socialize and read time.

“After the first visit where we planted, we focused on weeding and watering,” Wiegand says. “This was such a hot, dry summer that the weeds around the new addition were rapidly outpacing the growth of the new grass. Each student volunteer brought a plastic pail and a pair of gardening gloves to be able to attack the weeds. It was great fun, as some of the weeds required a team effort to pull or dig out.”

Girls from the class of 2016 waging war on the weeds, enabling grass to grow.

So far, 26 students have worked, at least 10 of them more than once. One girl has been present all four times. And 10 parents and siblings have participated as well.

“This has been such a rewarding project for all involved: working in the fresh air, being together and supporting our terrific library,” Wiegand says. “We have plans to come back after school in October to clean up the two beds that we planted and to add some compost to the soil.

“Since it has been so much fun, an idea has percolated on how to keep going as a class service project,” Wiegand says. “We are having a drive to collect red geraniums before they are killed by the fall frost. They will be planted in old containers and placed in a greenhouse at the middle school. Then all eighth graders will have the opportunity to sign up to take turns caring for the geraniums.”

Wiegand hopes the students will learn important skills about how to save money by recycling geraniums from one year to the next and also about how to winter them.

The people who have joined this effort so far are: Richard Andrus; Richard Andrus Sr. (dad); Whitley; Lauren Chlebove; Jake Converse; Jocelyn Converse (sister); Kathleen Converse (mother); Joshua Converse (brother); Caleb Cooley; Lydia Cooley; Tiffany Cordon; David Delaus; Ben Gutchess; Sophia Hetelekides; Annika Mounts;, Isabel Morse; Sullivan Morse (brother); Madisyn Puchebner; Bailey Reed; Kit Rhodes; Carolyn Robb; Brandon Shafer; Emily Shafer; Sarah Shafer; Jan Somes (mother); Spencer; Dana Szczublewski (sister); Kim Szczublewski (mother); Zach Szczublewski; Zach Warfle; Helen Warfle; Kaitlyn West, Sue Wiegand (school counselor); Eve Willoughby (mother); Kyle Willoughby; Denise Zimmerman (mother) and Nikki Zimmerman.

“It is my hope that this class project will inspire in some of our kids a love for gardening, a dedication to community service, and will also encourage them to visit and use their public library,” Wiegand says.

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