JAY — The community garden maintained by the National Honor Society [NHS] at Spruce Mountain High School was rededicated Friday morning, June 2.

Advisor Kyle McLellan at left and members of the Spruce Mountain High School National Honor Society stand in front of the newly erected sign during a rededication of the Spruce Mountain community garden Friday morning, June 2. NHS members started the garden in 2012 and the raised beds were rebuilt last year. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“Today is the culmination of a lot of work from our National Honor Society chapter to refurbish our community garden, make it as fruitful as possible,” Advisor Kyle McLellan said. “I am very proud of the work … members have put in and am excited to see what we’ll be able to harvest in the fall.”

This year’s NHS president Ava Moffett thanked the donors who helped rebuild the community garden boxes last year for its 10th anniversary and the garden sign this year with money or materials. “Each one has been able to get a project off the ground and running for our community,” she noted.

NHS president Ava Moffett speaks during the rededication of the Spruce Mountain community garden Friday morning, June 2. All vegetables harvested from the garden will be donated to area food pantries. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

NHS at SMHS concentrates on giving back to the community through various service projects, Moffett stated. “One way we are able to live out our mission is by keeping up with our community garden each year,” she said. “The vegetables that we harvest are solely for the local food pantry. The garden began in 2012 with previous NHS chapters and has continued since then.”

NHS member Jonah Moore at left looks on Friday morning, June 2, as gardener Lucas Towers shows where tools are kept for those caring for the Spruce Mountain community garden in Jay. NHS Advisor Kyle McLellan is also seen at right during the garden’s rededication ceremony. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Lucas Towers said he took over the community garden during his sophomore year. “The garden for me has been a project that I deeply care about and have put hundreds of hours into it over the past three years,” he noted. “At first I didn’t really love the idea of having to haul the hose 100 feet … just to water the garden every day of the summer. But as the vegetables started growing and the garden started to come alive at the beginning of the summer of my sophomore year, I started to enjoy the tasks of the garden and found myself spending a lot of time here, even when I wasn’t required to.”

Towers thought renovating the garden would improve the amount of produce available for the less fortunate in the community. “I was taken aback by the number of responses I got from local businesses and organizations willing to donate to renovate the garden, just from a simple email I sent out last March and within a week received over $1,000 worth of donations and by the end over $2,000 to completely renovate the garden. The generosity of our community always seems to amaze me, especially when it comes to school sanctioned projects.

Megan Craig, incoming NHS president, speaks during the Spruce Mountain community garden rededication ceremony Friday morning, June 2, at the garden near Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“Unfortunately, my run as gardener will soon come to an end in the next few weeks, but I know that this garden is in good hands for the years to come … appreciate your generosity and commitment to making our community a better place.”

Incoming president Megan Craig noted the executive board will have huge shoes to fill. “My plans include integrating into our community more than ever,” she stated. “Obviously we will continue the community garden and attempt to be as well put together as our current chief gardener. But we also want to ensure that we implement ourselves even more into our community. We want to ensure this first annual dedication will be the first of many and will be the first step of many great things that I know our chapter and school community is capable of.”

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