(COVINGTON, La.) — When people visit the St. Paul’s School campus, they are often struck by the natural beauty that the many plants and flowers provide. These plants do not simply appear overnight, nor are they left to nature’s care alone. A behind-the-scenes group of dedicated mothers work hard to present the campus in its best light. The mothers are known as the Botanical Wolves, and their influence extends over all campus, specifically the plaza in front of Founders’ Circle.
“Our goal is to not only enhance the beauty of St. Paul’s campus, but to provide a lasting educational resource to both the school and the entire community while keeping conservation and preservation efforts in mind,” head of the Botanical Wolves, Linda Trahan, said. “We plan to achieve our objectives through the planting of many different genera and species of plants, particularly native, heirloom, and less common varieties. We hope to inspire the boys and all who visit our campus to respect, appreciate, and seek knowledge of the wonderfully diverse plants in God’s creation.”
The devoted group of mothers, in conjunction with students and faculty, began work in 2013 on over a dozen campus improvement projects. An interesting feature of the organization is their dedication to the state wildflower, the Louisiana Iris. The group works closely with the Greater New Orleans Iris Society (GNOIS) on studying the intricate and delicate iris that has become a symbol for the state. As a result, the Botanical Wolves earned a GNOIS grant consisting of $250 and more than a dozen cultivars and native species of irises.
The Louisiana Native Plant Society (LNPS) has also pledged their support to the Botanical Wolves. Their pledge includes a $500 grant for the planting of native shrubs and trees to be planted over the fall and winter months. Trahan hopes this will increase the biodiversity of the campus and further her personal mission to see the school turn into a spectacular 40-acre botanical garden.
“This is your campus and our purpose is to help the students build a legacy to share with future generations,” Trahan said. “I am particularly motivated by the hope that many of you will grow up to be environmentally conscious citizens who will seek to protect and conserve plants that are essential to healthy ecosystems.”
In addition, Trahan sends out a call to the student body for volunteers. She welcomes input and comments from the students in response to the campus gardens and hopes to see an increase in student interest in the environment and biodiversity of the campus they inhabit. To help the cause, she urges students to listen closely to school announcements for needed help with planting trees and plants during the weekends.
(photos courtesy of the Botanical Wolves)