A group of students proposed creating a memorial garden to honor deceased students and alumni of Spring Grove High School.

And with administrators and school board members on board, the students from Celeste Barnes' environmental science classes are ready to move forward with the design and completion of a garden.

The students were motivated by the recent death of 2010 graduate Cameron Stambaugh, according to Lisa Smith, district community relations coordinator. Stambaugh, 20, was one of the six NATO service members killed July 8 when an armored vehicle he was in was demolished by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

While students discussed the possibilities, the memorial expanded to include not only members of the military, but those who served their communities as police officers and firefighters as well.

Spring Grove graduate David Tome would be among those honored. Tome was struck and killed in October 2008 while investigating an accident in Franklin Township.

Sixty senior students in the environmental 2 classes, under the direction of Barnes, will be digging, planting and building the 125-square-foot garden. Douglas Rohrbaugh of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates is donating his personal time, along with that of a landscape architect, to work with students in defining the most appropriate layout and selecting the best trees and plants for the area.

The firm has pledged to provide the trees at no cost, said Smith. The garden will be located in front of the high school pool area.

Members of the National Art Honor Society are also involved in the project; they will design and create an appropriate work of art for the area. Barnes said students would like to have flags surrounding the garden as well.

Donations are being sought for funding of the project. Barnes said the responsibility for maintaining the garden would fall to each successive class of environmental science students.

A timeline for the project has yet to be determined.