SPRING HILL — Every month, some J.D. Floyd K-8 students head over to the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens in Spring Hill to help maintain them.
They are the K-Kids, a service organization for elementary school children affiliated with the Kiwanis Club.
The J.D. Floyd group is sponsored by the Brooksville Kiwanis.
On a recent Saturday, 17 students were at the gardens with sixth-grade teacher Brianne Oppedal, the school's K-Kids adviser. The children were divided among jobs, including mulching, weeding and picking up scraps.
Apparently, the students are willing to work harder for their club than they are at home. "Kids come out, and the parents ask me how I get them to work here," Oppedal said.
Molly Brown, 10, is a fifth-grader who said the reason she volunteers is "because I like to help the community and stuff. This is my second year in K-Kids."
Molly was there with her classmate Jamie Anderson, 10. Jamie was there "I guess because our teacher's always telling us we have to care for our environment, and being K-Kids we help our environment."
That same morning, a tree was planted in the gardens in memory of a frequent visitor's friend. Phyllis Davgin comes often because of the peace and beauty. She donated the tree, she said, as "a way to show condolence to my friend. It's live and it helps the park and it's meaningful, and then everyone can enjoy it."
Aris Jackson, 11, is a K-Kids fifth-grader who was at the gardens with his little sister, Ayana Hudson.
He explained why he was there. "I like to do stuff," he said.
"You like to help out your community, and then my little sister joined in. I stayed in so she wouldn't be by herself."
"He loves me," she said.