Aspen’s garden rejuvenated

Ray Doss, a junior at Orcas Island High School, and sophomore Keith Light have taken on the distinct honor of the upkeep of the Aspen O’Donell Memorial Garden. With the help of Mike Buckner, Advisor of the ASB and teacher of the high school leadership class, Doss and Light have been able to form the Garden Committee. The committee is dedicated to working in the garden at least once a week until the garden is restored to its initial condition. Afterwards, the students will work to establish a plan to keep it maintained and beautiful.


Memorial bench / Image Credit: Chris Waage

The Aspen O’Donell Garden was built as a senior project in 1998 to honor Aspen O’Donnell, a student who had passed away the previous year. Paul Evans, Tech Coordinator at Orcas Island High School, demonstrates the sentiments shared by many of the students and faculty at OISD. “Aspen and I were close and it’s sad to see the garden looking like this,” he states. Doss and Light couldn’t agree more. With the very generous help of Evans, and landscape designer Christine Booth, the students have made great strides to return the garden to its former glory.

Light and Doss have many ideas as to what they want to see in the garden in the coming years. Their dreams include a picnic table, a water collection and agricultural system, and even an Agriculture class. They are trying to gather as much student and class involvement as possible, and they have asked the wood shop class to make a bench for the garden. The Garden Committee also hopes to encourage community involvement in the restoration process. Doss and Light note that any members in the community who wish to offer support to the cause can feel free to contact the Garden Committee at or