Magnolia West High Art Honor Students install Art for Outdoor Classroom

Regina Michael, one of the art teachers at West, approached Keep Magnolia Beautiful on behalf of the other art teachers asking for assistance with the landscaping of an area outside the art classrooms to be used as an outdoor classroom space. Using the expertise of Tom Richards, a professional landscape designer, to design the area and calling on the generous individuals and businesses in Magnolia, the resources came together to realize this vision.

Keep Magnolia Beautiful applied for and received a generous grant from the Magnolia Community Foundation that provided the seed money for the project. Monetary donations were received from several individuals and families. In-kind donations and discounts were provided by Magnolia Gardens Nursery, Castillo Grass, Arbor Gate, and Noack Landscaping. Frank Parker provided and worked a tractor with an auger that was vital for helping move dirt and digging holes. Food for the volunteers on planting days was provided by La Magnolia Trattoria and H-E-B. The West Welding class designed and built a distinctive wrought iron entry arch and West International Baccalaureate purchased a 25-gallon red maple to serve as a focal point.

Over the course of two weekends, 25 West students worked a total of 127.5 hours and 9 adults worked a total of 61 hours. Fifteen trees and 56 plants were planted, 15 yards of garden mix soil and six yards of mulch were spread. Keep Magnolia Beautiful board members, Ms. Michael and other adult volunteers worked a total of 119 hours from planning to final installation.

Some finishing touches remain – over the course of the next several months, there are plans to install a decorative perimeter fence, tables and benches, enhance the irrigation and install a storage shed. This project is a shining and enduring example of how the community can come together to build a lasting outdoor environment for the enjoyment of future classes of West art students. Keep Magnolia Beautiful and Magnolia West truly appreciate all the volunteers and donors who made this project possible.