Clover Elementary School, Los Angeles
I visited the Los Angeles Clover Elementary school to participate in the native garden planting. The event was organized and run by a upper devision Landscape Architect class. The journey getting to the school was not an easy one. The meeting time was 8:15 A.M. on Thursday, May 16th. It was typical bumper to bumper morning Los Angeles freeway traffic the entire distance. After arriving late, I noticed I wasn’t the only one that underestimated the time it would take to get to our destination. The student in charge, Gabrielle, wasted no time instructing me to grab a shovel and start breaking up dirt clumps. The area to be landscaped was not that large. It was existing planter areas that had bermuda grass planted in it previously, and was located in front of two classrooms. As we were all working on breaking up the dirt, the children became very curious and wanted to join in and help. The teachers were happy to explain to the children what was happening and even asked if the students could join in. It was rewarding to see how interested all the kids were and some were very enthusiastic they would be getting a new garden. After the compost truck arrived it was our job to dispense it evenly over the planting area. The children dramatically reacted to the cow manure smell. After the compost was dispensed, a truck-full of mulch arrived. This was chopped up eucalyptus, pines, and cedars and smelled fantastic. The children also reacted to the “smelly” substance. It was funny to be reminded how different the younger generations are from current. Most of the Cal Poly students were appreciative of the earthy smell. The kids did not share the same attitudes. Throughout my time spent at Clover Elementary, small children were taking outside P.E, dance, and yoga classes. This molded a positive, upbeat mood to the area. It made working with shovels much more enjoyable, especially after glancing at the circle of children learning a formal dance. I had to leave the event early due to a midterm later that afternoon. I was disappointed I couldn’t stay and help more, but I was very happy I participated in the event. It always feels good to know your helping the community out in some way. The garden should be a great success and provide an ascetic view to teachers, students, and visitors.