Courtyard Restoration Project at Hillcrest Elementary, Del Valle ISD, 2013

In late fall of 2012 4-H CAPITAL AmeriCorps member Maia Holmes got the crazy idea to fix up the courtyard at Hillcrest Elementary. She had noticed during her first semester of teaching at Hillcrest how large and open the courtyard was but also how bare and void of life it felt. She asked her students in her Architecture class if they had any interest in helping spruce up the courtyard. They all expressed an interest and wanted to sign up for what would become the Green Building class in spring 2013. Ms Holmes approached both 4-H CAPITAL and Hillcrest Elementary about the idea, once both were onboard she and her fellow Hillcrest 4-H CAPITAL co-worker, Sam Meyers, got straight to work creating objectives for the restoration project. They decided they wanted to:

  • Create a rainwater collection system to use in the pre-existing 4-H CAPITAL vegetable garden
  • Construct a three stage compost bin using reclaimed materials
  • Plant succulents in the cinder block fence around the garden
  • Build an erosion control barrier
  • Design and build garden beds with native plants
  • Design and paint an educational mural painted by the students to be hung above the 4-H CAPITAL garden

The girls completed a project proposal and were given $500 from 4-H CAPITAL for materials and $1,000 from Hillcrest Elementary thanks to the support of the ACE 21st Century site coordinator, Adam Hartmann.

Over the past four months Maia and Sam have been working diligently with their students, sixteen 3rd and 4th graders from the Green Building class and seventeen 4th and 5th graders from the Natural Resources class. As of May the following projects have been completed:

  • Rainwater collection system
  • Heart shaped garden bed with native plants
  • Succulents planted in cinder blocks
  • Educational mural

What needs to be completed:

  • Erosion control barrier
  • Three stage compost bin


Last updated: May 2, 2013

For more information on the 4-H CAPITAL Project, contact Charlotte Wehrman.

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