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Students Nurture Love of Nature in the Botany Club

The last bell of the school day rings. As most students begin to make their way out of the building, a small corner of the high school remains active. A group of around 15 students congregate in the school’s greenhouse. These students will leave with their terrariums, which they will care for themselves. 


This is NHS's Botany Club, a niche club run by a group of small but dedicated students and a haven for plant lovers that gives students an opportunity to connect with nature. More similar to a horticultural club rather than your typical botany club, the club grows veggies, wildflowers, and indoor tropicals, and builds terrariums. Currently, they are dedicated to community outreach for the many benefits of plants and nature. 


“My main goal is just to show how rewarding forming a connection with nature can be. Hopefully, a few will find plants as a new hobby, one that doesn't involve screens or computers and helps them relieve some of the anxieties of their normal everyday life,” said Keven Tempsick, the club advisor. 


But that’s not all; the Botany Club stays active throughout the year, participating in activities both inside and outside of the school walls. 


“Currently, I am working on updating the garden beds in our Senior Courtyard with Mr. Williams which will provide an area for better and more successful growing of outdoor vegetables and flowers for us, and also Mrs. Dellafave uses one of the garden beds with her students as part of her curriculum,” said Tempsick. “We also have worked with the Parks and Rec on Earth Day cleanups and also in creating Tree Species of Nutley QR code signs that will likely be installed in some of the town's parks.”


The Botany Club often takes part in small activities in the community rather than large-scale projects. Despite this, Botany Club members still feel as though they are rewarding. 


“I think the Botany Club is a great way to give back to our town and the environment,” said Gabriel Zunaideh, a sophomore active in the botany club. “We work hand-in-hand with the Nutley Parks Department and through this the Botany Club has been able to do many things, like document tree species around town and take home oak saplings to grow, courtesy of the township.”


“The terrariums are a fun way to learn about and experience the environment and plants. It keeps you learning, and helps introduce you to the natural world around you,” said junior Ava Iannitelli. 


The Botany Club stays an active puzzle piece to the community of the high school. Their niche club gives students a casual, small environment to explore a very rewarding interest. Students can get more information about the Botany Club and many others at the Cub Fair at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.