BUENA PARK Buena Park Junior High School seventh-grader Ricardo Estrada said he loved learning about the life cycles of insects and their effect on local flora and fauna as a result of working on his school’s student-run native habitat garden.

The school’s garden was installed in December 2017 and has been maintained by horticulture students, as they learn about the various plants that thrive in California and how they benefit the environment. The upkeep is done by seventh and eighth grade students in the horticulture program, overseen by electives teacher Shelley Andros.

“I really like to read about insects, specifically the different things they do, where they live and what they like to eat,” Estrada said. “I like working in the garden because it teaches me new things, like what type of soil different plants use and how much water they need. I love watching our plants grow.”

Estrada and his classmates recently had their garden assessed and plant-life knowledge tested by representatives from the 48th District Agricultural Association, as part of the organization’s Agriculture and Nutrition Program. Buena Park Junior High is in the running to have its garden and work displayed at the association’s 2019 Schools’ Agriculture and Nutrition Fair in Pomona in May.


042919_BUENAPARK_GARDEN1: Buena Park Junior High School seventh-graders Yoltzin Rocha (left) and Jacqueline Gasperin showcase the plants they’ve grown in their school’s habitat garden, including coast sunflowers, hummingbird sage and California poppies.