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August 17, 2022

Rolling Hills garden comes to life

WATSONVILLE—A long-neglected garden at Rolling Hills Middle School was brought back to life Thursday thanks to the volunteer efforts of the Watsonville company K&D Landscaping. 

Armed with a host of tools and dozens of starter plants, the crew tore into the hard-packed soil as part of K&D’s Community Beautification Project, a program now in its third year. Six times a year the company descends on a non-profit, school, community park and the like, and fortifies the landscaping. The team at K&D also incorporates the skills and interests of students in inviting them to engage in the landscape makeover with transplanting, soil prep, weeding, and upkeep.

“The school’s neglected garden really lacked the attention it deserved to become a proper extension of the classroom,” said Jamie Strange, marketing director at K&D. “The students and staff are excited for the opportunity to make this space into what they have been imagining, all with the expert guidance and resources from the K&D team.”

The garden project got a running start when a representative from the horticulture department at Cabrillo College showed students and staff how to sheet mulch, a method of using layers of cardboard and organic materials to create a viable garden bed.

“I’m so lucky,” said Julie Tully, who teaches seventh and eighth grade. “There were four-and-a half-foot-high weeds taking over out here. The students worked so hard in taking them out; we took so many bags of weeds out of here. This is going to look real nice and will serve as a comforting environment for students to study and feel safe.”

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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