Saturday, March 21, 2015

About the Garden

The Harris Middle School Community Garden was created in 2009 by two teachers, Lacey Trevino and Loryn Windwehen. Behind the school was a barren field of Bermuda grass and dirt surrounded by a wooded nature area of Oak and Juniper Trees and other native shrubs.

Trevino, a phenomenal art teacher, saw the potential the space had, and applied for a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant in the amount of $5,000. With this seed grant and many, many community donors as well as district support, a fence was installed around the area, and a nature area was preserved and structured in order to allow for one of the most impressive natural spaces in the entire county.

Trevino recruited Windwehen, a science teacher, to join her in her efforts of building an outdoor classroom. Windwehen’s Horticulture background and desire to involve students in the process inspired her to create “The Green Team,” which was a club that meets daily as an elective class. After Trevino and Windwehen saw the success from the two small beds installed by an Eagle Scout, they knew they could expand it into something bigger. Trevino used  her exceptional organizational leadership talent and skills and called upon community experts.
Approx 2010

After an architect drew up the plans for the space, NEISD maintenance and engineering constructed the area, leaving behind an empty landscape. All that was missing were students and plants.


Every plant in the ground was put in by the Green Team students, and since then, they have turned a blank space into an area with native trees, blooming plants, 2 large vegetable growing areas, 2 sheds, a hydroponic growing system, a native trail, a composting area, and a greenhouse.

The area is home to students, teachers, and community members. Students have become leaders, teaching each other, their parents, their teachers, and community members. Community ed classes and parent/student classes are held where all individuals are learning from one another. In many cases, before they enter our program, they have little to no horticultural knowledge, and leave inspired to make environmental change.

Together, Trevino and Windwehen estimate that over  $120,000 in grants, monetary and physical donations have been put into the program, averaging about $20,000/year.

Trevino and Windwehen have worked together to bring a tremendous amount of positive attention to the school, and their most recent accomplishment is being awarded $20,000 from the San Antonio Spurs to install a greenhouse.

It is truly one of the most unique educational spaces in all of education, and one that hasn't come about easily.

Currently, they are working tirelessly to complete the installation of the greenhouse complex, and once this is complete will begin sharing their success with others.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! It is being moderated for approval for the safety of the students.