Green Thumbs Up for Severna Park Elementary
New landscaping now graces the school grounds as they ready to celebrate 75th year.
Thanks to one very creative parent at Severna Park Elementary, the school has taken on a new look recently - more green.
Amy Faust, a resident of West Severna Park and the mother of kindergartener and Daisy Scout Ava Rose, took on the role of grounds chairperson earlier this fall and decided the school should, well, have grounds. She then donned her gardening gloves and set out to refurbish the entire landscaping plan for the school. She enlisted the aid of nearby Homestead Gardens to accomplish her goal.
"If you have recently passed by the school, you've probably noticed the somewhat rough appearance of the school grounds and landscape beds. Unfortunately the grounds maintenance contractor is only responsible for cutting the property; any landscape bed maintenance or improvements are not covered and therefore often go undone," said Faust. "Homestead Gardens seemed a natural fit and their reputation is awesome so I approached them."
Enter Jeff Opel, Homestead's landscape manager and oddly enough an alumni of the school, and Dave Hanger, the gardening center's general manager and local resident.
"To really make an impact we really needed to have a plan first," she said. "It's the school's 75th anniversary next year so this is a great time to be doing this."
Now armed with a plan, courtesy of Homestead's landscaping service, and a mere $1,000 budget, the trio decided to create a greens registry of sorts and invite neighboring communities served by the school to participate. Homestead also offered a 25 percent discount off everything needed and started the ball rolling with a generous donation of plants. Some end-of-the-season plantings on the registry are even up to 50 percent off.
Olde Severna Park, which surrounds the school, was quick to chip in for mulch – bags and bags of mulch and some plants as well.
"Amy and I set down and created the gift registry," said Hanger. "This (helping out schools) is something new to us, but beautifying the area is what we do as part of the community. Everyone wins with this investment and we're happy to participate."
Armed with about 65 plants, a small volunteer group set out to refurbish the front two foundation beds and a smaller side area that houses a bike corral. Even Homestead's general manager was on hand off and on during the day.
"We'll have those front areas complete today," said Faust. "By the end of the year we'll be at 100 percent complete. Purchases can be made all winter and into spring, which Homestead will keep track of and hold for us until our spring clean-up and planting party date is announced."
Among the planting party volunteers were six members of Faust's local Daisy Troop #531 and their co-leader, Linda Jackson of Linstead.
"We're here to make the school look beautiful and help set the right tone for the girls to help their communities," said Jackson who herself dug in to help install new plants.
Anyone wanting to participate can see the landscape plan on display in the school's atrium or at either Homestead Gardens location in Severna Park or Davidsonville, where you can select and purchase something from the wish list to donate to the project.
If you have questions about this program contact Amy Faust at amy@LNF.com.