Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green
and alumnus Alan May participated in a garden design reveal assembly at Powell Elementary School on March 10 with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Caps, Powell Elementary School and the USDA are partnering to build a People’s Garden at the school this spring.
USDA Forest Service landscape architect Matt Arnn and Natural Resources Conservation Service landscape architect Robert Snieckus presented the garden design to preschool through fourth-grade students during the school-wide assembly. In February Green and May joined the USDA in a planning session, where students, teachers and parents drew their ideal gardens. Arnn and Snieckus used those drawings to create the garden plan for Powell. During today’s assembly, the landscape architects explained to the students how they incorporated the students’ ideas into the plan.
Annie Ceccarini, the outreach and education coordinator for the People’s Garden initiative, talked about some of the foods that would be in the garden using the students’ drawings. The children were thrilled with the selection, shouting out the names of the fruits and vegetables as the pictures appeared on the screen.
The garden design includes a food, habitat and crevice garden; activity zones; a play house; a stage; covered seating; and a planted arbor. The design also allows one of Powell’s existing tennis courts to be turned into a multipurpose court, where students can play street hockey and basketball. The Capitals and the USDA plan to break ground for the garden at Powell Elementary School in April.
The People’s Garden initiative is an effort by the United States Department of Agriculture which challenges its employees to establish People's Gardens at USDA facilities worldwide or help communities create gardens. People's Gardens vary in size and type, but all have a common purpose - to help the community they're within and the environment. For more information, go to www.usda.gov/peoplesgarden
The Capitals adopted Powell Elementary School – a largely minority school for preschoolers through fourth graders - this season. During the summer Green along with 125 Caps fans helped get the school ready for the year by gardening, painting, cleaning and decorating as part of the D.C. Public Schools Beautification Day.