Sunday, June 23, 2024

August Emerald Keepers of the Month: Community Volunteers – Prepping for Back to School

It was a banner weekend for Emerald Keepers! Forty volunteers overhauled the Emerald Keepers’ student gardens and cleaned the beach at the Ferry Landing before hurricane Hilary hit Coronado and students returned back to school.

At Coronado High School’s Emerald Keepers Club garden and compost, students and community volunteers painted 13 large and extra-large planter boxes with care. Students chatted about the upcoming school year and took pride in their handiwork. In addition to staining the boxes, students cleaned and organized storage sheds, planted melons and potatoes, and turned compost. Adults helped clean up in and outside the garden, hauled debris, painted boxes, and pulled weeds.

“The gardens – a collaboration between Emerald Keepers and Public Library – are important as we want the gardens and compost to be an inviting place for students to relax and work together,” said Amy Steward, president of Emerald Keepers.

In addition to painting the boxes the roughly 35 volunteers weeded for four hours.

“The tenacious weeds were knee-high and above,” said volunteer Dan’l Steward. “We filled ten 65 gallon trash cans.”

Music resounded as the skies grew gray, but impending weather did nothing to dampen the volunteers’ spirits.

CHS senior Troy Martin said, “This is my first time coming out to Emerald Keepers. I came out because it sounded like a fun thing to do and help get the garden ready for the school year.”

Emerald Keeper Intern and Cathedral Catholic Junior Liza Delach commented, “It is important to renew the compost and garden and get the gardens ready for the school year.”

Accompanied by his family, incoming Emerald Keepers Club member Colin Thoms explained, “I came out to prepare the planter boxes at the high school before the rain and hurricane and help renew the middle school garden.”

Rotarian and Emerald Keepers Board Member Ginger Cox volunteers with students at the Coronado Middle School garden. She explained, “The produce the students harvest from the organic gardens at the middle school and high school is taken to the IB Neighborhood Center Food Pantry, and it gets distributed there. The Rotary Club helps provide food at the center.”

Students harvested and donated potatoes, kale, and two boxes of tomatoes to the Food Pantry this weekend thanks to Ginger Cox who delivered the produce.

Environmental and Teen Librarian and Emerald Keepers’ garden leader Tara Davies said, “Hopefully we will have lots of new recruits to work in the gardens this year. I am really proud of all the high school students who also worked in the CMS garden.”

Concurrently with the garden effort, Emerald Keepers team leader Stef Angel held a beach cleanup at the Ferry Landing. She was pleased that young Emerald Keepers brought their parents to help clean the beach.

Special thanks to the Cox, Berk, Thoms, Hejl, and Steward families. This month we celebrate all our incredible volunteers who work together to build community while helping the environment. Congratulations to each and every one, the August Emerald Keepers of the month!

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Student Garden “Spruce Up” – Planting & Painting, Weeding & Composting



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