Plant High is a recent recipient of the Lowes’ Heroes Project Award which is given by the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation towards a community effort that's designed to enrich the neighborhood. As a result of the award, Plant High School has partnered with Lowe's Home Improvement to design, build, and plant a fresh fruit and vegetable garden on campus.
Groundbreaking for the garden was held on the Saturday before school officially began, and staff, students, administrators, and Lowes’ representatives reported early to campus, eager and ready to work. Although much preplanning had already occurred, the hard work was now at hand, and everyone had their assigned jobs to do. It was hot outside – the temperature that day actually soared above 95 degrees, but the workers never slowed down. From a bare, hard piece of ground, a base of sand was spread to provide a level area on which the raised beds and timber framing were placed. Deep holes were dug by hand for each of the decorative and pollinating shrubs and bushes to be planted. Paver stones were painstakingly placed around the perimeter of the beds, while the brickwork was laid in a specific, repeating pattern, three rows high to create the raised garden beds. Sweat dripped, drinking water was in endless demand, and when the laborers broke for lunch, which was donated by the South Tampa Firehouse Subs, everyone made a beeline to the air conditioned classroom next to the garden area to get a break from the heat and to rehydrate.
The garden will be managed by the special needs students on campus and it will also be supported by several service clubs including Best Buddies, Scholars II and the Ecology Club. The science department will also incorporate the garden project into their curriculum as a way to bring real world experiences into the classroom. The produce from the garden will be used to support the Salad and Sandwich Bar, which has become extremely popular on Plant's campus. The goal is to eventually invite the South Tampa Community to support the "Plant Goes Green Initiative" by purchasing their fresh fruits and vegetables from Plant High School.
Much credit for the project belongs to Napoleon Wade, Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at PHS, for organizing, planning, and following through with efforts to bring the entire effort to completion. Rich Sheldon, Store Manager of the Lowe’s of South Tampa said, “This was such an amazing event to be included in, and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome, support and teamwork that was generated during this event. The team at Plant was not only amazing, but inspiring and dedicated as well.” He added, “I can’t be more proud and honored as the Store Manager of Lowes to be a part of something so special and meaningful, and to have worked together with such amazing, committed and dedicated members our of community.”
Each year, the Lowe’s Heroes volunteer program helps improve the local communities Lowe’s serves. The companywide program encourages employees in a location to work together, adopt a volunteer project with a local nonprofit organization or K-12 public school, and make a difference. Visit the Lowe’s Heroes Project to find out more about this initiative. To see what else is happening at Plant High School, visit their website at http://plant.mysdhc.org/.View Full Album