Atrium changes hands


Snowball, one of three atrium rabbits, sits beneath a table on a sunny day, Nov. 25.

Olivia Colburn, Managing Editor

Some students walk past the atrium without a second thought, missing the way the rabbits quietly hop along the edge of the plants or around a table. The students who do take time to look at the atrium see the various plants it has, and the rabbit plant control. 

Susan Presley, a biology teacher, took care of the atrium until her retirement three years ago and she asked senior Angel Falcon to maintain it after she left.

“I actually started my freshman year,” Falcon said. “It just happened naturally.”

Falcon asked the special education department  to help out around the atrium because he decided they are a good suit.

“Since my junior year, we only feed them when we want to, because it’s an ecosystem there,” he said. “They eat all the algae. They eat any plants that they have, and now with the additional animals and lack of plant growth in there, everything is kind of dying and the animals are dependent on someone.”

The rabbits were brought in to be plant control because they used to have a huge problem with a purple plant and weeds, and when Falcon wasn’t able to keep up with the weeds, he put his rabbits in hoping that they would balance out the ecosystem.

The black rabbit is Comet, the white one is Snowball and the gray one is Carrot. The turtles, which so many students stop in the halls to watch, have been there longer than Falcon has, and he’s only added a couple rescue turtles over the years. There were fish for about a week.

“The fish were brought in by an unknown person, not my decision, and that’s the reason why the water’s so green right now,” he said. “That pond wasn’t designed for koi, to be a koi pond.”

Starting last year, faculty and students fed the animals as needed because the atrium is an ecosystem with the rabbits, fish and turtles feeding on plants and algae. But Falcon said now they do have to feed the animals a little more often because there are more of them and the plant growth doesn’t always keep up.