Published Dec. 14, 2023
BY TULLAH MCCOLL
As Carmel Unified School District’s landscapers and maintenance crew work diligently to maintain the natural charm of Carmel High School’s campus, the positive impact through additional greenery continues to be a goal for many.
According to CUSD’s maintenance director Bob Gruber, current projects at CHS include shrub replacement and beautification, such as an oak sapling by the front of the school.
“We always work to keep the campus green, but need to balance that with a few guidelines,” Gruber explains.
The guidelines include sustainability, pests, pollen and the life span of plants. Gruber notes the importance of new planting on campus and says they will always strive to continue growth while keeping these things in mind.
Replacing old shrubs alongside the pool and auto shop building inspired the start of replacement along the 20s and 30s wings of campus.
Many teachers, including CHS history teacher Bill Schrier, hope for more trees to be planted. After winter of 2022, a large tree by Schrier’s classroom, Room 24, was removed as part of a storm drain repair replacement project, leaving a large dirt spot in place of the tree.
“What I would really like there is that they make it a place where students can hang out,” Schrier says, “where people sit in a circle and teachers could use that for classes.”
As Schrier has hoped, the site now has new plants and is under consideration to become a new outdoor seating area with smaller shrubs and plants.
While CUSD’s efforts in landscaping are clear and their hard work is recognized, some still hope for further improvements on campus. AP Environmental Science teacher expresses familiarity with the framework when deciding what plants to place on campus and has noticed the decrease in the number of native plants and trees throughout a previously diverse campus.
“By just changing that decision-making process or how we decide what to plant, we would start making a lot of different decisions and in general make our campus more beautiful,” Maas-Baldwin says.
By adding back more natives, explains Maas-Baldwin, it could have an immense impact on the biodiversity of the campus.