Roosevelt celebrates 50th with new community garden

The Roosevelt High School Wellness Fair has been going strong for the last 50 years. The campus staff and students looked forward to this year’s big event, as they prepared to unveil the school’s first ever Community Garden on May 18. Roosevelt built the garden with the mission to increase a sense of community ownership and stewardship with the campus, in addition to giving students a perfect outdoor learning environment. Hundreds of families worked their way through the fair to take in the beauty of the new garden and to obtain information on achieving the best mental and physical health and wellness.

“It’s pretty awesome to see the community come and support this...I’m so excited to show the best of Roosevelt High School here at the Community Garden Celebration,” said Roosevelt Principal, Melvin Echard. “I think what you see here is a culmination of a lot of donors and givers who are invested in what we do and I think it is just utterly fantastic. A huge thank you to NEEF. Their mission is being supported here today.”  

Great things like this don’t happen without the heart and determination of people willing to go well beyond expectations. Misty Belmontez, science teacher at Roosevelt, is one of those people. Belmontez took the initiative to apply for all the grants that made her vision come to fruition. Roosevelt raised approximately $43,000 thanks to the proposal written by Belmontez. If you were to include discounted services and volunteerism, the total would be more than $60,000 toward the garden.

“I handed that proposal off to our advanced architecture students with specific criteria for learning outdoor classrooms, for ADA compliance, making sure that it is open to our community,” said Belmontez. “Really it started with them providing an image for that vision, and from there it was tweaked a little bit because we got additional funding. It’s pretty impressive!”

The placement toward the front of the campus will give the community easy access to the garden, in addition to highlighting the Molly Pruitt Library.

“I’m actually doing my Eagle Scout Project here. I’m building the benches for the center section and the two left sections and right sections,” said Adam Arnwine, 11th grader at Roosevelt. “I’m in the Science Club and I enjoy that a lot. I thought that I could help out more than just help the garden, I could add the benches and do all that. It just feels good to help out the community.”

The Roosevelt Community Garden will bring students from across a variety of clubs and groups. From the Science Club to the Culinary Art Club, staff and students will nurture the garden so future Roughriders can enjoy the fruits and veggies of their labor 50 years from now.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Photo L to R: Dr. Donna Newman, Associate Superintendent Division of Campus Administration and Human Resources, Dr. Brian G. Gottardy, Superintendent of Schools, Misty Belmontez, Biology teacher at Roosevelt, Board Secretary Sandy Hughey, Dr. Pauline Dow, Associate Superintendent for Instruction & Technology Services/Chief Instructional Officer, and Roosevelt Principal, Melvin Echard

photo-of -garden

Posted on 05/19/2017