It Takes a Village to Support a Community Garden!

Remarks by Charlotte Goldman, OPRF High School class of 2011 - at the Grand Opening Of the OPRF "Herban Garden"

Hi my name is Charlotte Goldman and I am one of the many leaders of the Environmental Club. Thank you again everyone for coming to share this important day with us. We have been waiting for this day for almost a year now. From the moment we started work on this project, we have had the help, support, and aid from the community. As some of you know, we first had the idea to build a roof garden, but because of legal reasons, this idea was passed by and we too passed the idea off for other dreams. But by chance, Donna Schuler from the OPRF Garden Club heard of our aspirations to build a community garden. We then received wonderful news over the summer of the gracious gift presented to us by the Garden Club, and we were back in business. This simple gift got us back on our feet, and rejuvenated our passions towards building an urban garden.

I remember looking at the garden after our fist workday. We had transplanted all the bushes and plants that had previously been here around the school, and what we were left with was a blank canvas of dirt, on what now rests the ‘Herban’ Garden, and I thought… “Can we really finish this project, or did we bite off more than we can chew?’ It was fear wrenching. But with the help and support from everyone around us, we achieved our goal, as we all can see. This garden threw us into the open seas with no floatation devices, and together we would either sink or swim. So, with little knowledge, we moved forward.

We were graced by the help of McAdam Landscaping and Mr. Scott McAdam, who devoted time and effort to consulting us, aiding us in the layout, advice, and products to use. We would also like to thank Tammy Cheverny from McAdam Landscape who was essential to the finalization of the garden from supplying the dirt and aiding us with advice and undying support. Through McAdam landscape we were introduced to Unilock, and Mr. Auggie Rodriguez, our brick supplier, who was always willing to patiently answer our many emails and phone calls, and always available to consult during the stone laying process, and was, of course, able to set us up with the best deals possible. We would also love to thank Rober J Neylan Architect Lmt. for drawing up our layout, AA Rental for aiding in the brick laying process, JH Mohr Concrete for the wonderful gravel, and Jessica with Seguin Services, for growing our plants and holding them as long as we needed since the construction took longer than expected, and Buildings & Grounds, who were always there to help us with our incessant needs on those late Sunday nights. Throughout the whole process we have met some fabulous people that were not only there to support us and help us, but to offer assistance and motivation to get this garden in tip top shape and complete our goals and dreams. This truly has become a community garden.

And looking around I think that we have achieved exactly what we set out to do. So again, I would like to thank everyone; whether it was the undying support, the inspiration, the donations, the supplies, the advice, the brain power, or the manual labor, it truly was a community effort. We would also love to thank Ms. Wise and Ms. McGuckin, because without them we would be lost. The school for being so accommodating. The Environmental Club and the family members dragged along with them, thanks again for the free labor! And most of all, to the 5 other co-presidents, my family. Our little dream, it has finally bloomed, and I wouldn’t have wished to overcome this feat with any other group of friends. So please enjoy this garden, love it, care for it, spread the word, because it aint leaving as long as we are around!