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Winter blooms at Pearl River Central

Pearl River Central High School students added a new layer of beauty to their campus Wednesday through the construction of a new garden.

Sarah Olson, a junior at the school, fundraised $845 to purchase supplies for the garden and found volunteers to help her put it together. Blooming winter plants, along with native azaleas and a Crepe Myrtle sat ready to be planted, while students put down topsoil.

Olson and Mark Mitchell, a National Honor Society student, raked the soil to prepare it for planting. Olson’s mom, Amy, staked down edging around the garden to keep out weeds and grass. Along with honor students, ROTC students have also helped out with the project, said Olson.

Art students in Catherine Bass’ art classes painted rocks with penguins, faces and colorful patterns to decorate the garden.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Bass. “I don’t know why it’s so fun to paint the rocks, but it is.”

The completed garden will include a pair of blue benches, a Pearl River Central flag and a bird feeder.

Olson said she’s learned a lot from visiting plant nurseries to put the project together.

“I had no idea that azaleas were even native to Mississippi,” she said.

Amy Olson said she’s proud to see her daughter take a leadership role on a service project.

“For her to take the initiative, I’m just proud of her for it.”