It was a labor of love. Huntington High School Environmental Club members along with several additional volunteers spruced up a courtyard garden dedicated to the memory of Eli Mollineaux.
Two yards of mulch was wheelbarrowed in and spread around, five new perennials were planted and existing vegetation was either pruned or cut back. The results are impressive.
The Environmental Club established the large garden several years ago. It is adjacent to a sidewalk that connects the lower academic wings of the building. Many students cut through the courtyard and walk past the garden during pleasant weather so it is a high visibility space.
Mr. Mollineaux passed away in late October 2016 after a lifelong battle against Pearson’s Syndrome, a rare disease triggered by a mutation in the mitochondrial DNA. The sophomore was just 15 years old.
“Eli would have been in this year’s graduating class and seniors are welcome to take pictures in Eli's garden before they graduate later this month,” said science teacher Deborah Beck, who is the Environmental Club’s faculty advisor.
“Each spring, the Environmental Club brings new life to the courtyard in an effort to bring new life to the school,” said senior Noah Morris, who co-founded the organization with Rachel Roday in 2016. “This year we planted a hydrangea bush as well as a couple annual plants. The effort demonstrated by the student body was greatly appreciated because it allowed us to complete our task in under two hours. We are so lucky to have an opportunity to beautify the school and to memorialize Eli in such a touching way.”
Now that the plants and shrubs have taken root and the garden is getting the periodic attention it needs, its long-term existence seems secure.
“It was so nice to get everyone outside,” said senior Christiana DeLuca, a club member since its inception. “Taking care of Eli’s garden is something that the Environmental Club has invested in for years now and I hope the tradition will continue in the club’s future.”