Lia Haram, a sophomore at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science in Portland, is the daughter of Eric Haram, York Hospital Recovery Center Director. Lia, and all Baxter Academy students, embarked on a year-long project that was sustained partly through “Flex Friday” scheduling, where students were allowed free time to work specifically on their individual projects.

Lia chose a project theme of “Spreading Positivity Through Nature.” Her goal was to show the health benefits that people experience due to the plants in their environment. The first component of the project was to explore the vast amounts of research about that subject. Although Lia initially had a project partner, the partner changed direction early on, so Lia committed to finishing her research and completing the project on her own.

Lia decided to create a supply of house plants that she would make easily accessible by gifting to people who might get the most out of having a little green in their lives. Lia knew, because of her father’s work at York Hospital and his daily interactions with patients and fellow caregivers, that a hospital might be an ideal place to spread positivity and cheer to others, as well as literally cleaning the air and providing other positive benefits.

This past winter, Lia planted seeds or took cuttings of established plants (such as spider plants and succulents) and grew them in small containers all over the house. She tended her seedlings and in May, when spring really arrived, along with people’s desire to see something green and growing, several trays of little plants were vibrant and healthy and ready to share with the world.

Lia carefully packed up the results of her hard work and brought several trays of plants to York Hospital to be offered to patients, visitors, staff and volunteers for free – first come, first served – outside the main entrance of the hospital. All were encouraged to take a plant home to care for and enjoy. As you can see from these pictures, Lia’s project, “rooted” in such a thoughtful and caring concept, met with great success!

Congratulations to Lia Haram for embarking on a project with an outcome that would impact the community in such a positive manner. Our deepest gratitude to Lia for truly spreading positivity through nature at York Hospital; kudos for a job well done!

Lia Haram’s free plants are a big hit with York Hospital visitors. Above, clockwise from top left:
Lia’s proud father Eric Haram (York Hospital’s Recovery Center Director) with Kiki Stevens; York Hospital
volunteers Lynn Batchelder and Diane Williams; and Bernadette Marcotte.