Being the one year anniversary of Positive Park, Earth Day made it a perfect time to be commemorated. I was invited along with many others to participate in the fun festivities today.
An empty plot of land between the beautiful old buildings of historic Hillsborough High School in Tampa has been turned into a lovely and restful stroll through several garden areas. It is now called Positive Park.
The Environmental Club President, Hannah Hong, is to be credited with spearheading the project and was instrumental in getting faculty on board to sponsor and help make the vision come to fruition.
The other person most responsible for creating the gardens and nurturing them as her own is Janice Vogt, the school nurse and a graduate of HHS. She coordinated getting many of the plants donated and organized the ROTC to help get them planted. Mulch was delivered for free by a local garden center.
Janice's signature roses make up a large bed center stage and they are breathtaking.
The tropical gardens were added last fall and Janice lovingly extended the gardens to include the plants donated by the alumni.
Ferns, perfectly situated, have found their own way into the cracks of the mortar in the red brick walls that make up the background for the entire area.
A Forest Pansy Redbud tree donated and planted in memory of a recently deceased 1931 graduate.
Butterflies and lady bugs were released as part of the ceremonies. There were even plenty of Jadera bug nymphs adding brightness to several plants. They are helpful in eating the seeds of goldenrain tree and chinaberry. If they didn't eat them we just might be overrun by them.
The culinary class baked up the refreshments which included lady bug and froggie cookies.
Janice Vogt, school nurse and gardener with Virginia Overstreet, Master Gardener.
Activities were planned to help in the celebration. They included a demonstration on how to plant vegetables.
Then Hannah (President of the Environmental Club) and Katie (Vice-President) show us how to create a worm bin.
Nana K was there with her adorable grandson who helped transfer the worms to their new home.
It was evident that everyone involved has worked very hard to make the gardens a place of beauty. What a wonderful way for students and faculty to contribute and add value to their school. Planting plants and creating a little piece of paradise in the middle of a public school that will live-on long after the organizers have graduated.
It was a good way to celebrate Earth Day.