North Hills students help beautify school grounds

May 4, 2018

Last week, members of North Hills High School’s student council and the Hands for Service club spent the morning planting trees, shrubs and ornamental grasses in front of the school.

According to Facilities Director Kevin Swindell, landscaping around the building was looking bleak and uninviting, so he contacted the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to help bring the property back to life.

Since 2007, the nonprofit organization has installed outdoor learning areas, play spaces and other greening features at Pittsburgh Public Schools. This is the first time the conservancy has assisted a suburban district, says Kelly Flynn, a member of the conservancy’s field staff.

The low-maintenance plants, including Karl Foerster grasses, hardy geraniums, three Winter King Hawthorn trees, Pink Muhly grasses, and Double Knockout roses, came from Best Feeds Garden Center, a nursery on Babcock Boulevard.

Before the end of the school year, conservancy representatives will be back on site to create a pollination garden. Using flowering plants or trees that provide nectar and pollen sources helps prevent the degradation of forage for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, birds and bats.

“I want to major in environmental sciences,” junior Darby Matvey said. “It’s nice how the conservancy donates their time and materials to help us learn.”

Kristy Locklin is a Tribune-Review contributor.