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Maplewood Families Clean Up Campus on September Garden Workday

By Periwinkle Schuster

The Maplewood Gardens first workday of 2016 was September 17th and it was not only a success but also such fun! Previous to our workday we took time to walk the campus and assess the state of the trees with the AISD forester. After the construction over the summer, many trees were damaged and in an ill state. She aided Mrs. Jacobson and our gardening team in securing many yards of valuable mulch to restore the trees we can.

On our workday many Mustangs and their families enjoyed jumping from the huge mulch pile and hauling it across the campus to protect and restore our lovely trees. We set many goals for the day and accomplished almost every one!

  • We cleared overhanging brush and limbs in the walkways, cleared the overgrown grapevines choking out the antique roses in the courtyard and enriched the state of our serene pond.
  • The butterfly garden outside the library was freed from the nasty hackberry and chinaberry over-taking and killing the pollinator plants.
  • The hedge that was obstructing the school sign on 38th street was trimmed and soon to be mulched.
  • The newly painted Peace Path on the north side of the playground was swept clear after being buried in construction dirt and edged to allow the walkway to be safe and peaceful again.

It was a huge team effort of beautiful proportions preparing the raised grading beds for the each classroom. Clearing the weeds, organically waging war on the fire ants and repairing the beds was such a success! The gardening team taught about Hugelkultur and the benefits of permaculture. Last but certainly not least, our students and their siblings painted a new garden sign and butterfly house. Look for it at the greenhouse just north of the blacktop against the main building. It is super Mustang cool! Congratulations Mustangs on a job well done!

The children in each classroom are eager to begin planting seedlings and seeds for their fall edible gardens. Can you help them? Our children’s teachers need volunteers to help plant their raised gardening beds. It’s easy. It takes less than an hour from beginning to end and the rewards just grow and grow! We have resources for you! Seeds, compost, seedlings, tools and books to borrow, gardening advise and more.

There’s always more gardening and grounds work to do! I promised to make a double batch of rice crispy treats for our next workday scheduled for October 8th! Please join us – even if you can not move dirt or pull weeds we welcome your support and encouragement! It really is a fun time, a great way to meet other Maplewood families, help our school and students and meet the principles challenge to volunteer at Maplewood Elementary school. Your invited! Let’s Grow Together!

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Photos by Jennifer Potter-Miller

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