Growing a greener environment

Four APES classes are in the process of their annual campus projects.



Members of “Seeds of Wellness” work together on the garden for their project.

Ingrid Chan, Staff Writer

Students of Diamond Bar High School’s AP Environmental Science classes have begun working on their annual “Your World Projects,” with the goal of making  the campus more environmentally friendly.

Teachers Kylance Malveaux and Greg Valor have two APES classes each, with each period working on different projects. The teachers have been acting as advisers, since the assignment is entirely student-run.  

Each project is run by an executive board consisting of four managers and a president, all of whom were chosen by majority vote. The rest of the students organized themselves into four departments: art, research, marketing and public relations.  Most of the funds needed for the projects are gained through donations, fundraising and sponsors.

Valor’s first period class, “Project Bluebird,” hopes to create a biome in which the declining population of western bluebirds can thrive in.  However, the project is not limited to just bluebirds, as they intend to make DBHS more hospitable for birds in general.  The class currently has one operating birdhouse at the back of the school, and they will be landscaping the area with plants.

Meanwhile, Valor’s fourth period class, “Operation Hydration,” plans to install a filtered hydration station accessible to students on campus in order to promote the usage of reusable water bottles. They are also attempting to place recycling bins around campus to prevent the disposal of plastic water bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills and oceans.  The class has already gained the funds for their hydration system and are currently in the process of determining its location and design.

Malveaux’s second period class, “Spotlight,” is raising money to install solar powered lights around campus, since the school lights are on constantly. Each solar panel costs $300, and the class has already received one panel of the three that they are aiming for.  Funds were raised from an ice-skating fundraiser and parent donations.  The class is also asking around Diamond Bar for sponsors.

“We are reaching out to elementary and middle school students in an effort to educate them about solar energy and encourage them to be more concerned about conserving energy,” senior Grace Jean said.

Malveaux’s fourth period class, “Seeds of Wellness,” is promoting gardening as a source of stress relief for high school students. An aromatherapeutic garden will be established on campus, since horticultural therapy is proven to have cognitive, social and emotional benefits.

 They also plan to work together with DBHS Peer Counseling in the future to help maximize the benefits. The foundation of their garden was completed at the end of spring break.  The students are also hoping to install a series of benches around trees near the garden.  The installation of any other aesthetic enhancements will depend on approval from the school board.

“Ultimately, we hope that our garden can be a place of escape for DBHS students,” senior Jessica Au said.

At the very end of the school year, the classes will present their final projects to a panel of judges and receive a grade based on how they rank. This grade will make up 50 percent of their semester grade.  Panel judges are administrators from environmental programs outside the school.