For almost two years the DPEA Art business team, under the leadership of DPEA teacher Diana Hemsley, has been planning a huge undertaking: landscaping the unused plots around the DPEA building. The team received multiple grants from the community to help fund the project, which included the addition of trees, sculptures, and benches to the landscape, and the creation of a rainbow-colored mural which spans nearly the entire length of the academy.
On March 7th the art team partnered with the school-wide Beautify DP event and got to work. Over 100 DP students and DPEA parents volunteered their Saturday to help remove weeds, break apart old soil, and introduce mulch and healthy soil into the plots. Students could use the hours they worked in order to fulfill their NHS or NAHS community service requirements.
Courtney Schwartz, an art team member and Junior in the DPEA said, “I think that it was really successful overall for our first attempt at the project!”
Eli Wopat, a DPEA senior, added, “I volunteered with some of my friends, so it was actually a lot of fun! It was really rewarding to see how much we were able to get done!”
Other projects completed by DPEA students include the installation of citrus trees, drought resistant plants, a student painted mural, and two sculptures generously donated by the Morris B. Squire Foundation.
Aqua-Flo has generously donated drip irrigation supplies to the DPEA, which will be used to improve the water efficiency of the landscaping projects.
Charles McClure, a DPEA parent and landscape architect, has volunteered his time to teach the team how to create and work from landscaping blueprints.