Alex Salinas and Christian Flores are the treasurer and president of the gardening club at Palm Springs High School, and they got their hands dirty planting a community flower garden, they hope will serve of as a public resource to learn about native plants.
Flores said he wants to pursue a career in space science, but the club expands his interests.
"I’m more mathematically oriented, but that’s the good thing about being in this club," Flores said. "You learn different things and sometimes you’re having conversations with family and friends and you throw that out."
But besides being helpful in plant trivia, they see the club as early training for their future careers.
"I’m really interested in the environment and I want to go into environmental science for college or marine biology," Salinas said. "So I feel this will help colleges see that I have a foot in the door for environmental things."
The students gave-up a Saturday to be a part of the community butterfly garden, a project by the Desert Water Agency.
Salinas said, "All the Milkweeds are the Monarchs favorite plants that they can lay their eggs on and have their larva grow."
The garden will be in front of the Desert Water Agency offices in Palm Springs. Ashley Metzger is the agency’s outreach manager, she said people from the community can go to the garden at any time and learn a tip or two for their own yards.
Metzger said, "Birds, bees, butterflies, having habitat for them is wonderful, having food for them is wonderful and so we’re hoping to support that, and we’re also hoping people will remove grass areas and put these more native appropriate plants."
And attracting more bees means more pollination that helps farmers grow fruits and seeds.
The project got help from Palm Springs High School students all along the way, art students helped paint a mural that serves as a backdrop for the garden.
While Salinas and Flores added their parts, they were tasked with adding the habitat to welcome the wildlife.
Flores said, "When you think about it, you don’t think any teen would spend their weekends working or after school in the garden, but I mean, just the satisfaction it brings in know that you make a difference."
The desert community is invited to view the mural and garden during the "Butterfly Block Party" on March 25. Learn more about the event by clicking here.