By Rick Henly on Friday, May 28th, 2010 |
Riverview students had a ribbon cutting today officially opening the new Physic Garden behind the school.
The Physic Garden of Medicinal Plants was a Social Action project involving the community including Huntington University, HNHS, Boy Scout Troup 130 and Riverview Middle School led by Life Scout Kieffer Williams (former Riverview student), University professor Jeff Webb, HNHS student Alex Robinson (former Riverview student) and Science Teacher Deb Daugherty.
Historically, plants have played an important role in medicine. For early peoples, they came easily to hand, and were intricately connected to diet and healing. Through observation and experimentation, they learned which plants promoted health and well-being.
Many plants we rely on today were "field tested" by First Nations people hundreds, even thousands, of years before Europeans explored this continent. Early people used almost 3,000 different plants as medicine. Black cohosh, a staple of Cherokee medicine, served many purposes ranging from use as as diuretic to a cure for rheumatic pains. Bloodroot provided the Cherokee with medicine to cure coughs and lung inflammations. Blue cohosh, another eastern woodland plant, helped cure toothaches for the Cherokee, while the Chippewa used the root to treat cramps.Over time, the practice of herbal medicine has grown more complex. Science has enabled us to process natural substances into pills, tinctures and powders. However, the development of a market economy also has distanced consumers from the wild plants that are the source of medicines.
Using the Riverview outdoor Classroom, Riverview 7th grade students surveyed the land, measured and created a design for the new garden. There was a competition for best design, measurement and creativity. Webb, Williams and future Purdue biologist of plant study Christian Webb selected the best design by team of 7th graders: Nick Bucher, Jordan Wall, River Kolb and Aidan Wright. After the design was selected, students from the 7th grade at Riverview Middle School, HNHS students and boys scout troop 130 began clearing area, creating new paths, making a sign and constructing beds, under the leadership of Kieffer Williams.
In the classroom students studied a variety of medicinal plants with Science teacher Deb Daugherty. After many hours of research students selected a medicinal plant that they wanted to plant in the garden. This year included: Russian Tarragon, Peppermint, Lavender, and Oregano. Some oregano and peppermint were donated by Mr. Dubois, Assistant Principal at Riverview Middle School. Students shared what they had learned about the plant at the opening ceremony and planting.
This project included working on Saturdays and after school from September until now. Riverview Middle School outstanding workers include Alex Riggers, Matt Bucher, Nick Bucher, and Cody Adams. They never missed a meeting.
In addition Ribbon cutters included: Jordan West- best writing, Design Team with Nick Bucher, Ana Eckert and Jordin Dolby -all around outstanding Science students and 2nd place design team.
The future holds learning more about plants and careers in pharmacy. The students would like to extend the garden, write grants to improve it with a water tower or source of water supply and include master gardeners.
Because techniques for cultivating on a commercial scale have not yet been developed it allows students to also ponder entrepreneurship possibilities.
Anonymous posted on December 17th, 2010 @ 11:12:25
Alex Riggers is an awesome person and a fierce friend
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