Mount Washington Elementary School Front Garden

Lynette Kampe

For several years the front garden of the school had been in need of replanting: plants had been lost to foot-traffic from kids short-cutting across the garden through a broken fence and a gopher had taken up residence. The situation seemed hopeless until a beautiful new fence was installed last year by Chester Cahill, a school parent, and I got approval from the MWA Board for funding for new plants and gopher-guard wire baskets, providing a humane and non-toxic way to reduce the impact of the gopher. A native plant garden had been planted previously to demonstrate water conservation and provide links to learning about the connections between native plants, birds and butterflies. It was time for replanting!

School community members Krista Ebert and Kathleen Ferguson met last fall with me to discuss the school gardens and we developed a plan to present to the school principal, Mrs. Valentino. Kathleen is a Landscape Designer and offered to select the species of plants and place them appropriately. The native plants selected were Aster c. ‘Purple Haze’, Dudleya pulverulenta, Salvia l. ‘Pt Sal Spreader’, Salvia ‘Powerline Pink’ and Verbena ‘De la Mina’. Krista coordinated the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and school garden committee to provide the labor for the installation and help care for the garden and Ms. Monji became the teacher champion for the project.

On Saturday, March 19, a group of enthusiastic kids and parents were briefed by Krista and Kathleen about California’s biodiversity and the benefits of native plants. It was my pleasure to be there that morning to greet them on behalf of the MWA and thank them for their work. The new garden beautifies the school that is the heart of our community. Your membership donations make projects like this possible.

 

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