The Patrick Henry Post

March 17th, 2023

Special Edition: The Garden Grand Reopening

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Patrick Henry Garden Improvements, 2023

Patrick Henry has one of the most incredible school gardens in the city of St. Louis. It is large and well-maintained, but we made some significant improvements this school year so that we could make the garden accessible to all students and volunteers, including those with physical disabilities. In previous years, our garden had uneven walking terrain that made it difficult to navigate for our students with disabilities, and impossible for our students and volunteers with assistive walking devices.

We started researching how we could make this garden open to every person in our school and neighborhood, and we realized we needed help. We started meeting with our community partners, and we had an incredible number of people step up to meet our needs. They came together as a team to create a smooth, concrete surface so that all walkers, wheelchairs, and uneven walking gaits could still navigate the garden safely.

This week, we were able to reopen the garden with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a planting celebration with our students! See below for photos of the highlights of this celebration day where students were able to enjoy healthy snacks, smoothies from Southwest Food Services, time on the smoothie bike, and planting their spring harvest as a team.

This project took an enormous amount of support and donations from our community partners. We want to recognize and thank the following people for making this project possible:

  • Scott Downs, Apprenticeship Program Coordinator, Cement Mason's Union Local 527
  • Jeff Caputa, Instructor from the Cement Masons Apprenticeship Program
  • Brad Campbell, Financial Secretary Treasurer for the Cement Mason's Union Local 527
  • Jim Renick, Business Agent for the Cement Mason's Union Local 527
  • Eric Marshall, Sales Manager for Western Ready-Mix
  • Ken Kozlowski, District Manager for Ceco Concrete Construction
  • Dan Boyd, Safety Director for Vee Jay Cement
  • Justin Arens, Project Engineer for Vee Jay Cement
  • Diana Wilhold, Deputy Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, Construction Forum
  • Leanne White, Director of Healthy Schools Initiatives, St. Louis Public Schools
  • Denise Strehlow, Manager of BJC School Outreach and Youth Development
  • Erica Oliver, Community Health Partner of BJC School Outreach and Youth Development
  • Morgan Ralphs, Physical Education Teacher of Patrick Henry

See below for the progress of this project that began in December:
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Watch our Garden Grow!

Before Pictures

We planted our spring seeds, and over the next days, weeks, and months, our seeds will grow into seedlings and plants and eventually be ready for harvest (and eating!). Below you can see our starting point for our class beds, and this semester we will keep you updated on how the growth is going!

Upcoming Events at Patrick Henry

March 20th - March 24th: Spring Break

All SLPS schools will be closed for Spring Break on March 20th - March 24th. School will reopen on Monday, March 27th.

March 31st: Field Trip for 2nd - 5th Grade

All 2nd-5th graders will go on a walking field trip to the Gateway Arch. Students will not only get a tour of the new grounds and museum, but they will also travel all the way to the top of the Arch for a view of our beautiful city! Students will end the day with a Riverboat Cruise and they even get a free lunch while they are on the Mighty Mississippi. Parents! Please make sure you turn in your child's field trip permission slip and get your child to school on time so they do not miss out on this opportunity!

March 31st: Book Party for Kindergarten - 1st Grade

All Kindergarten and First Graders will attend a Book Party at Patrick Henry where they will receive books to take home with them and keep! We will have healthy snacks as well as a fun, large, furry friend!

April 29th: Patrick Henry Resource Fair

This event will take place on Saturday, April 29th, behind Patrick Henry in our backyard driveway. Our community partners from Delta Sigma Theta Alumni Chapter of St. Louis will bring their cars full of supplies for our families to gather resources and enjoy a fun morning at Patrick Henry. All families are invited to join and take resources for their family! More details will be sent out closer to the event.