Schoolyard Habitat - Elementary School Native Plant Garden/Park was Planted Summer 2013!
From late may to mid-June, dozens of volunteers, several agencies, and multiple local businesses contributed supplies and manpower to get over 200 hundred native plants into the ground at the Seward Elementry School. The process involved using heavy equipment to rip out 600 lineal feet of sad-looking non-native pine shrubs. Then donated local topsoil was added, followed by a weed block fabric, then several inches of bark mulch. With this prep work complete, the DaVinci Days summer camp kids did the bulk of the planting along two sides of the school. Most of the native plants were purchased from Alaska Trees in Anchorage. Some plants were mail-ordered from a native plant nursery in Montana. This fall and next spring local school students will transplant even more local species gathered from around the area. In addition to the garden, several gravel pathways and areas for benches and picnic tables were completed.
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A Seward City News article really captured the community spirit that went into this project, see http://sewardcitynews.com/2013/06/growing-a-new-generation/. This article summarized the local contributions as follows. "It’s been a major community undertaking. Volunteer gardeners included The Seward Boys & Girls Club, the DaVinci Summer Science and Arts Camp, Seward Teen & Youth Center, Kenai Fjords National Park crews, a group of Master Gardeners, RBCA members, Alaska Soil & Water Conservation District, Seward Teachers, Seward Garden Club plus independent drop-in local volunteers. Dan Rough donated 60 cubic yards of topsoil, Blaine Bardarson hauled the soil for free, the City of Seward provided 36 cubic yards of wood chips, Spenard Builders Supply provided a major discount on shed materials and tools, Metco Inc., provided discounts on pine shrub removal, top soil, and gravel, and Vince Benjamin (Salmon Bake owner) donated the use of his Bobcat for two weeks."
RBCA provided all of the coordination. Matt Gray (RBCA Watershed Program Coordinator) built a tool shed and spent over three solid weeks making it all happen. Ami Wright (RBCA Stream Monitoring Coordinato) provided a lot of the native species recommendations and contributed well over a hunderd hours helping out. Here are a few photos taken durring all of this hard work.