Good Day to Plant

On April 23, just after Earth Day, over 40 Peddie students, employees and visitors from Hightstown and beyond gathered at Meadow Lakes, a lushly landscaped senior living community across from the Ian H. Graham ’50 Athletic Center. There, they planted over 900 plants, all of which are pollinator-friendly as well as riparian buffers, meaning they help to conserve soil and keep water clean.

Among the visitors were Ken and Joan Nelson, who donated the plants as part of their commitment to sustainability and their endowed fund, the Kenneth E. Nelson ’68 and Joan G. Nelson Endowed Fund for Environmental Programming.

The couple, who believe strongly in the creativity of students, established the fund to support students who have an interest in environmental experiences and initiatives, within and beyond the classroom, and to enable the science department to pursue curricular and environmental programming.

students planting at Meadow Lakes

“Joan and I are pleased to support Peddie, and the P.E.S.T. group in particular, with learning about and exploring solutions to environmental issues,” said Ken Nelson. “We are happy that the group is cognizant not only of the science, but also economic implications.

"The study of environmental issues encompasses multiple disciplines, including science, economics, law and specific cultural issues,” he continued. “One of the basic environmental considerations is food, and a pollinator garden is the beginning of that chain.”

Equipped with shovels, trowels and gardening gloves and led by Peddie science teacher Dr. Shani Peretz, the group established the donated plants in their new home under a clear spring sky.

“The ultimate goal of this event was to provide an opportunity for the entire Hightstown community to learn about the importance of pollinators and the ecosystem,” said Justin Kim ’24, founder and head of the Botany Club, member of P.E.S.T. (Peddie Environmental and Sustainability Team) and Meadow Lakes planting organizer. “And I believe a lot of students and families engaging in a project like this created a sense of accomplishment.”

students planting at Meadow Lakes