Gardens & Grounds Facelift
Community Building at its FINEST!
From Tasha Messer,
Sagamore Hills Elementary School Paraprofessional
and parent volunteer
As you approach our school you will notice that our gardens and grounds look more beautiful than ever! Their amazingly fresh appearance is largely due to the tireless efforts of a small group of student, parent, community member, business partner, and staff volunteers. Under the direction of Mrs. Messer, Paraprofessional at Sagamore Hills Elementary School, these individuals embarked on a summer-long gardening adventure!
Initially, they were requested to attend to our S.T.E.M. Learning Garden (located in the courtyard) and the, recently installed, Captain Planet Project Learning Garden (located outside the exterior doors of the cafeteria). The maintenance of both required a rigorous amount of watering, weeding and harvesting during extremely hot and humid weather conditions. Although a daunting task at times, they stayed the course.
As things began to grow abundantly, the team was asked to expand their scope to include the upkeep of the school grounds as a whole. They replied with a resounding YES, adding an extra layer of responsibilities to their list of things to do. The new tasks now included mowing the lawns, weed eating edges, raking leaves, trimming hedges, bagging twigs, blowing away debris and litter collection. They had made it up in their minds that Sagamore Hills would not only hold the title of dual certified S.T.E.M school but look the part as well!
Their greatest source of motivation came from the simple pleasure of knowing that they were helping the school BE MORE! The gratitude displayed by school administration and maintenance staff was uplifting. However, the outpouring of compliments from surrounding community members was enough to evoke an emotion in any humble spirit. They were truly the wind beneath our wings.
The pièces de résistance were the construction of the Green House and the completion of the Captain Planet Project Learning Garden (CPPLG) Revitalization Project. Mr. Mark Bollinger and his family-team committed three days to installing our adult-size, high tech greenhouse. Its S.T.E.M.-iest features are the nitroglycerin lifts that enable the vents to open and close automatically as temperatures dictate.
Mr. Alexis Carbajal volunteered his time to, single handedly, professionally pressure wash and paint the badly peeling doors, windows and vents on the wall facing the Captain Planet Project Learning Garden. To make it more aesthetically pleasing, he even pressure washed the sidewalks as well. Thankfully, he had the moral support of his family including Mama Carbajal visiting all the way from Uruguay! They joined him every evening and weekend making for a delightful display of work-play moments.
In honor of The Sherwin-Williams Company 150-Year Anniversary; Mr. Bear Brown, Store Manager of the Shamrock Plaza location, donated ten gallons of paint and heavily discounted the cost of the remaining supplies needed to complete the painting project. The retail value for those items would have exceeded $900! After discounts were calculated, Mrs. Taylor generously contributed the lesser balance due for those supplies.
During this tremendous effort 760 water rotations were completed, hundreds of weeds were pulled, 78 bags of debris were collected and hauled, many unusual insects were discovered and countless bug bites were endured. It’s exhausting just recapping it all.
A very special Thank You must be extended to the following students and their families for dedicating time during their summer break to volunteer service hours to our school. They truly embody the Be MORE motto by Doing MORE!
Acker (4th) • Alvarez-Ramos (3rd, 5th) • Baldwin (2nd, 4th) • Carbajal (4th) • Douglas (1st) • Helander (2nd) • Jones (2nd) • Karlowicz (1st) • Lake (3rd) • Martinez (2nd) • McMahan (kindergarten, 5th) • Meeks (1st) • Messer (2nd) • Perlmutter (pre-k, 3rd) • Rodriguez-Nava (5th) • Sanders (1st) • Shevlin (kindergarten, 2nd, 4th)
- Betsy Razza, Master Gardener
- Miranda Watrous & Suzanne Pope, Food Corp/Captain Planet Foundation Garden Assistants
- Alexis Carbajal
Professional Painting & Pressure Washing
- Bear Brown, Store Manager
Shamrock Plaza #3676
3908 North Druid Hills Road, Decatur, GA 30034