Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
Upon approaching Red Bank Regional High School from either Harding Road or Ridge Road, travelers encounter a series of signs reading “Have…You…Got…It?” The question is soon answered by the last sign: “Buc Pride!” …which leads to the front entrance with an even larger sign announcing, “Welcome to BUC Nation, Home of the Buccaneers!”
The eye-catching signage is the first installment in what the new leadership of the BUC Backer Foundation (BBF) plans for the RBR campus; a beautification campaign that will include seasonal plantings, new landscaping designs and signs proclaiming RBR’s status as one of the area’s top-rated schools.
BBF Co-President Carmelina MacPherson explains, “When Patti Forsman and I accepted the presidency, we were determined to do something that would help build school spirit and BUC pride. We decided to focus on the campus so the students and parents could feel a sense of pride on how great the school looked.”
In addition to the signs, mums were planted throughout the campus, and weeding was done. That temporary measure was soon followed with a major landscape design coordinated by RBR parent and project designer Dulce Feito-Daly. Mrs. Daly engaged the services of Sickles’ Landscaping, a long-time school supporter in Little Silver, who helped develop plans to landscape three specific areas at the entrance of the school: the center island, east and west sides of the front campus surrounding the school sign and electronic board. The BUC Backer Foundation also engaged Sickles for yearly upkeep of the landscaped which includes weeding, and seasonal plantings.
Soon, the community will enjoy the autumn appearance of school-themed burgundy and white mums, which will give way to similarly colored cabbage plantings in the winter. Bulbs planted in the fall will usher in spring with sunny yellow daffodils. Colorful annuals and proliferating knockout roses will beautify the beds all summer long. Evergreens will anchor these locations from year to year.
There are many challenges to this noble and ambitious project, however. Mrs. Daly explained that the key to its success is constant watering. Somehow a water supply had to be accessible to the planted beds, which are acres apart and nowhere near a water spigot. The Foundation was able to identify a 200 gallon special watering tank with flexible water pressure capabilities that could be hauled behind a truck on skids. Most importantly, RBR’s maintenance staff agreed to take on the watering responsibility, to keep the precious plantings nourished and thriving.
Phase III is planned for next year, and will affect the school building entrance. Planned are sitting benches and other landscaping and plantings, with the vision of transforming a vast empty paved area into more of an inviting courtyard space.
The BBF presidents drew their inspiration for the school-spirit project from several students who last year created an on-line t-shirt sales program to purchase signs for the athletic stands which they labeled “The BUC Deck.” This year, the foundation imitated that gesture by presenting every incoming freshman with an RBR t-shirt.
“Clearly these students were excited about their school and wanted to create some energy around it,” Mrs. MacPherson comments. “Patti and I thought we could be the vehicle to continue that on a bigger scale.”
“We wanted the exterior to reflect how wonderful this award-winning school is on the inside,” adds Mrs. Daly. “We want the campus to be a reflection of what RBR is about.”
Anyone interested in supporting the BUC Backer Foundation Campus Beautification Project can email email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.