TR Community Garden Comes to Life

| February 6, 2017

By Lizbeth Cuellar |

As the year progressed the grass and plants in the middle of the bus circle disappeared. Why all of a sudden it became dirt over night? A few months ago it was rumored that construction was beginning to build  a new garden provided for the community, with the efforts of the science 4H club and the Windcrest garden club. Many businesses and foundations have been supporting the development of the new community garden including Starbucks on Walzem and Spurs Team Up Challenge, both donating to help the school get started.

Belmontez

The idea for this organization was a proposal from a Misty Belmontez, a science teacher here on campus.

“I was working as an instructional technology specialist helping science teachers at MacArthur and the teacher I was working with took me outside and I saw that he had a garden,” Belmontez said. “I didn’t know we could have gardens and it was for his AP environmental class. So I had that in the back of my mind. I also worked with teachers at Lee high school and they were putting in a butterfly garden for them to be able to just sit down and relax at lunch time.”

The community garden plans for the front bus circle area.

After becoming the dean of science on campus, Belmontez wanted the students to have a garden just like other schools and the chance to love and enjoy one as much as she does. She tried and failed three times to get the plans approved.  During her fourth time of trying to engage the garden, was when it finally became part of the community, giving Principal Melvin Echard a vision of the outcome.

With the help of three other biology teachers, Cynthia McKinney, Tina Finley and Cristina Molina, the garden has raised over $32,000 and is still continuing to grow.

“The community garden here is really the brain child of Misty Belmontez but I work with the science club with her and we have a construction company that works with NEISD and this is the same construction company that did a lot of the renovations for Roosevelt,” biology teacher Cynthia McKinney said.

Every student will have access to the garden during  school hours as well as any person in our community around Roosevelt until dusk. Individuals with disabilities will also have the opportunity to come and plant since there will be ramps for wheelchair access and the flower beds will be able to their reach.

The new bed plants that will be scented ( lavender, mint, rosemary) fresh vegetables and fruit from every country around the world (Guatemala, Spain, Salvador) It will have three sections to it.

“I feel like it is something that will make Roosevelt stand out, we see beauty in our nature and I would like to contribute by helping plant the flowers beds as well as the calculations with money to see how much is being spent,” freshman, Jacob Rivera said.

Fundraising continues for a fence around the perimeter. To donate, go to https://www.pledgecents.com/cause/yvwhhq/tr-community-garden

The community garden is expected to be completed sometime around April.

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