“Rooting” For the Courtyard: The Libertyville Courtyard Shows its True Colors

On September 12, the Libertyville Environmental Action Force (LEAF) Courtyard was finally finished after years of work by Mr. Lapish and the members of LEAF.

Before the LEAF project to fix the courtyard came along, many students complained that the enclosure was dead. That soon changed after LEAF members decided to take it upon themselves to bring color back to the yard.

Now, instead of dirt and mulch, there is a lush green garden filled with plants native to Illinois. LEAF members also collaborated with the engineering club to make a fountain. LEAF members also worked with the art students to paint a mural op the ceiling of our newly refurbished pavilion, creating our own Sistine Chapel.

“By contributing to the courtyard I feel like I have accomplished team-building skills,” Senior Alya Buldak said. “We’ve recruited a lot of kids who might not have done gardening regardless. We have made friendships and people who wouldn’t normally talk to each other. And I think we’ve just built a community around the club and also the rest of the student body.”

By taking advice from landscapers, LEAF members were able to collaborate and design the courtyard. Thanks to their teamwork and collaboration with other clubs, they have created a new, unique space for students to just have a place to relax and for students and teachers to meet as they enjoy all the plants, bugs, bees, and birds.

In the future, the club will continue to focus on maintaining the new courtyard. As for future projects, the club will possibly create a new courtyard outside the school. This will take time, however.

“We started planning the courtyard we had in mind out by the tennis courts,” Mr. Lapish said. “We were thinking about putting a garden dedicated to milkweed for the monarchs but whether that happens or not, that’s going to be a lot more costs and a lot more maintenance and stuff. So that’s kind of like a pie in the sky, but it’s a possible project”.