Gray Middle School Bonsai Club

Teacher Martin Brown started the Bonsai Club at Tacoma’s Gray Middle School six years ago to try to teach his students about what it takes to grow and care for a living thing.

In the case of the bonsai, that includes copious amounts of water, pruning and patience.

“Personally, I didn’t think I could get so attached to a tree,” said Valeria Jacobo-Guzman, an eighth grader and first-year Bonsai Club member.

This year, the kids learned about something else as well: disappointment.

After months of caring for 25 trees, and just weeks before the club’s annual bonsai sale, someone twice vandalized their plants.

“In one day, all that work was destroyed,” Brown said this week.

Some time earlier this month, the vandal or vandals uprooted many of the club’s bonsais, which had been stored outside the school’s greenhouse along with some other plants, and left them to die. The greenhouse has not been wired for electricity, so it is not climate controlled.

The sale, which had been scheduled for June 9, has been canceled. The club had hoped to raise enough money to recoup its costs of about $500.
  • Brandon Pfeil 
    • $10 
    • 59 mos
  • Ryan H 
    • $15 
    • 59 mos
  • Jill Simmons 
    • $100 
    • 59 mos
  • Cody Chilson 
    • $10 
    • 59 mos
  • Pam Ketzner 
    • $50 
    • 59 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Robert Mohle Jr. 
Tucson, AZ
Martin Brown