Westwood High School Garden

  • Location
    Austin, Texas
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age
    14 to 18 Years
    26 and Over

The Problem

Westwood High School is situated in a highly urbanized area (North Austin, Texas) which will continue to encroach upon and consume the unique Texas Hill Country region which it rests on. There is significant habitat fragmentation in the area, even with the presence of small parks and greenbelts around the school.

Our Plan

Starting native plant gardens at school, which would provide some bridging space for wildlife. Setting aside some space to grow vegetables for donation.

Themes Addressed

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    Community Enhancement
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    Habitat Destruction
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The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

Reasonably well. There are still a lot of things to do (eg. waiting until Fall to seed sow seeds/plant), but we established a good foundation for future work. I think we engaged a good number of people directly with the project work as well.

Through this project I/we learned:

Communication takes a lot of time, especially getting in contact with all the people one would need to for approval/organization. It is definitely a lot of work and one should make reasonable expectations concerning project time goals.

What I/we might change:

Make sure to have an organized, consistent, and committed group of people working together to plan, from the get-go, and involve people who have ideas to share. Delegate work reasonably and make sure everyone is involved, not just for the flexibility that comes with a more even workload for everyone but also so that everyone *feels* like an active member in the project.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Doing the actual building!

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Please make sure to have fun with whatever you do. Don't let setbacks take away the enjoyment and motivation you have for your projects. For people interested in building gardens, know that there are many materials one can usually source for free: mulch (sometimes even compost!) is often provided by municipal recycling/brush pickup programs; libraries and local gardening groups can often provide free seeds; ranchers and horse owners often have manure they would be glad to get rid of.

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