Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grant, FAMU help Woodville Elementary's garden grow

MIKE EWEN/Democrat Colorful black-eyed susans help to draw butterflies on Friday, August 8, 2008 in front of the Woodville Elementary School as landscaping continues to transform the front of the school into a gardening oasis that will have butterfly gardens, benches and areas for students. The $21,000 project was funded by a grant submitted by FAMU professor Matt Powers. By TaMaryn Waters TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER A barren acre of grass and weeds will no longer greet students at Woodville Elementary School. Instead, there's a pea-gravel path bordered by Beautyberry, Yaupon holly and milkweed, along with two outdoor classrooms. The botanical transformation, which started a year ago, is courtesy of a $21,500 grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation. Students from Florida A&M University's School of Architecture combined ideas given from Woodville students with a functional design for the garden. "That's what's so unique about this," said new Principal Nancy Stokely. "The kids are going to see their plans in the final project." Woodville is the oldest school in the district because it's been in the same location for 152 years. The garden, which is located near the front of the school facing Woodville Highway, should be complete sometime this week. A grand unveiling ceremony is scheduled for late September. Stokely watched recently as a crew worked on what was once a "forgotten area of the school." The garden will include two areas of outdoor classroom activities, and one area will get an outdoor board for teachers to expand the classroom atmosphere. The chosen plants are meant to attract butterflies and birds so children get a VIP seat to the nature around them. An orange line in the grass indicates about half an acre starting from a portion of the garden to Woodville Highway's border in front of the school. It will become a wildflower meadow. Students will get to sprinkle the seeds next month. Matt Powers, an assistant professor at FAMU who led the project, said the meadow will include an assortment of red, blue, orange and yellow wildflowers. Powers said seven FAMU students in the American Society of Landscape Architecture worked on the design of the garden. He said most of the time students work on designs for massive buildings for class assignments. He said students will be pleasantly shocked to see the garden's progress. "This is really a unique opportunity because they are going to see their actual designs," Powers said. Contact Reporter TaMaryn Waters at (850) 599-2162 or tlwaters@tallahassee.com.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Thanks for posting the two article. Also, thank you for writing the letter to the editor in the Tallahassee Democrat.

Matt Powers