The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School


February 4, 2020

District gardening

But how can students and teachers alike help out our planet in our own garden? An easy way would be to get involved with Blooming Heights, the Columbia Heights Public Schools edible community garden.

 “If people want to be more involved with Blooming Heights, they can just come talk to me and we can find ways to get you more involved,” Agricultural Specialist and Blooming Heights caretaker Mr. Wes Nugteren said. 

Nugteren takes care of all garden activities along with health and teaches nature-based Encore classes. He has big plans for his program and wants to see as many people as possible contribute to the success of Blooming Heights.

“In the spring, we’re going to be focusing on planting a native edible garden, so focusing on plants that have always grown in Minnesota,” Nugteren said. 

Nugteren’s end goal is to tie in the garden to the district’s American Indian curriculum.

“If we can make [the garden] more hands-on, more tangible, then that would be great,” said Nugteren.

Go talk to Mr. Nugteren about helping out at Blooming Heights, either in Encore classes or volunteer days

More ways to donate

To see a collective collaboration made by everyday people is awe-inspiring. In other tree-based news, April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Earth Day. In collaboration with The Canopy Project, the Earth

Day Network plans on planting 7.8 billion trees on Earth Day. 7.8 billion trees will match our human population on Earth—one person, one tree. The donation amount matches TeamTrees, with

one dollar equaling one tree. Interested donors can go to to find out more. Those interested in donating can go to, where donors can also leave their own

personal message for others to see. Donations are accepted via credit card or PayPal.

Clear cut effects

  • Canada forests are used to make toilet paper and for agriculture, including chocolate and palm oil.
  • Trees are burned to make grazing fields for cattle ranchers, whose livestock are used to create beef patties for major fast-food organizations.
  • Forests are burned to make room for bigger farms to help local farmers feed their families.
  • Trees are used to make wood products.
  • Forests are removed to make room for mines.
  • Roads are built through the forest to connect the farms.
  • When dams are built, they create a lake that floods parts of the forest.
  • Faulty dams can also break, which only aggravates the problem.

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