Esperanza school to sell commemorative bricks for its garden

[Source: Coty Dolores Miranda, AZ Republic] – When Kyrene de la Esperanza fifth-grade teacher Sylvia Rios goes through the elementary school’s 2-year-old Discovery Garden, it’s a walk down memory lane. Lining the meandering pea-gravel path are engraved bricks honoring some of the students she has taught the past 14 years. Her two daughters – Gabriella, who attended Esperanza, and Liliana, a first-grader – share her pride in the garden and the engraved bricks that were first installed last year.

“As a teacher, it’s exciting for me to walk through and see the engraved bricks of former or current Esperanza families and staff members,” she said. “I’ve witnessed students in the garden and the first thing they look at are the bricks.”

In 2006, Esperanza applied to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for a $10,000 Heritage Fund grant, funded by Lottery ticket sales. The school received it in May 2007. The following spring, after construction of three new Esperanza classrooms, the Discovery Garden began taking shape with the help of parents, staff and community volunteers as well as $5,000 in private donations and another $10,000 of in-kind donations for plantings and landscaping.

Though other Ahwatukee elementary schools, such as Kyrene de las Lomas and Kyrene de los Cerritos, also have gardens, Esperanza’s is unusual with its 25-foot pond and pump to recycle water in a free-falling stream over rocks – a feature made possible with the assistance of Paul Holderman, Pond Gnome founder and creator of the Phoenix Zoo koi pond [to read the full article, click here].

Discovery Garden starting to take shape at Esperanza

[Source: Arizona Republic, Coty Delores Miranda, 10-6-2009] — After more than two years in the planning, the Kyrene de la Esperanza Discovery Garden and Outdoor Classroom is getting underway with a pond building and tree planting set for Saturday.  Volunteers are still being sought to help all day or anytime from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

With the expert guidance of Paul Holderman, founder of Pond Gnome and creator of the Koi Pond in the Phoenix Zoo entrance, volunteers will help lay the liner on the 25-foot-long pond, install a pump to recycle water in a free-falling stream over rocks, line the edges with river rock and incorporate water plants.  If possible, small native trees will also be planted in an effort to move to the second and third phases of the Discovery Garden creation.

In 2006, the Esperanza Discovery Garden began with an application to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for a $10,000 Heritage Fund grant — monies derived from Lottery ticket sales.  They received the grant in May 2007. [Note: to read the full story, click here.]