Washougal High School’s new Unified Garden Club seeks volunteers

After-school club hopes to expand, donate produce to local food banks

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Washougal High students Nicholas Maloney (left) and Jason Meulton prepare seed starts at Hayes Family Growers in Vancouver in 2023. (Contributed photo courtesy of the Washougal School District)

Washougal High School’s newly formed Unified Garden Club is recruiting parent and community volunteers to help care for its garden this summer and expand in the 2024-25 school year.

The after-school club, which “brings together students with disabilities and their peers to connect over the joy of gardening,” hopes to expand and donate produce from its garden to local food banks, according to a news release.

“I like the garden club because I get to hang out with friends, pull weeds, and learn how to plant healthy food,” said Unified Garden Club student president Nic Maloney. 

The club, which “fosters an environment of teamwork and respect while providing practical lessons in gardening, customer service, sales and social connections,” according to the news release, raised $510 during a fundraiser plant sale earlier this spring, selling 53 tomato starts, 53 impatiens, 36 begonias, 14 lobelias, and 48 French marigolds. 

The proceeds will be used to sustain the club’s garden space at Washougal High through the end of this summer.

“Community and parent volunteers will sustain the garden this summer,” the news release states. “Volunteers care for the garden for a week at a time in the summer months. These efforts make a big difference to maintain the garden as an educational resource for students throughout the year.”

Hayes Family Growers, a local plant nursery, taught students from the school’s Life Skills class about preparing seed starts at their nursery in east Vancouver earlier this year. Students took a tour of the nursery and participated in activities that students will apply to establishing their own nursery space at the high school.

“We’re thankful for our community partners and volunteers for helping to make this project a reality,” said Garden Club advisor David Williams.

For more information about how to volunteer, contact Kim Anderson at