Improving the Quality of Life at GCC

Liz Cameron

Students from English 104 are going green one assignment at a time.

Efrain Jimenez, Henna Karjalainen and Ayanna Armatrading are the three original members of a group that had to identify a problem, formulate a solution and then implement it.

They proposed a way to benefit the campus community by planting flowers that added “color to the school and helped widen people’s IQ by 12,” said Armatrading. She also said that color adds liveliness and has a psychological effect on people. Pink flowers in front of the Administration Building will help to calm moods.

In the proposal they wrote for their class, they stated that “adding flowers and color to our campus can make our college more appealing to returning and new students.” They also quoted Julie Barrett, a certified human behavior specialist who said “color has energy that impacts you psychologically and in turn physiologically.”

The group surveyed students from various ages, racial, cultural and social backgrounds to find out if adding flowers to GCC was a matter of importance. Sixty-five students participated in the survey and they found that 76 percent of the students agreed that the campus is boring or lacking appeal.

Eighty-seven percent of the students agreed that changes should be made to the landscaping of the campus. Seventy percent believed that flowers and plants would be an effective change, while 29 percent disagreed and 1 percent felt indifferent.

After consulting Bill Easley, the college’s landscaper, the group along with 10 volunteers, decided to use ivy geraniums becuase those particular flowers “don’t require much water or maintenance,” said Jimenez.

Sponsored in part by Viva Tacos La Estrella, a local Mexican restaurant, the group was able to purchase flowers from the Garden View Nursery in Irwindale. Jimenez said “we’ll plant about 300 flowers and end where the sidewalk begins.”
For more information about how to make the campus a greener community visit GCC’s environment and sustainability group page at