District 7 schools compete in 5th annual contest
By Christine Moore
I have great news to report!
Over 20 schools in District 7 participated in the 2016 Fall Beautification Contest. They were given mulch and a matrix of expectations. It was possible to earn 150 points with 30 for re-sodding Bahia where it has gone to weeds. Without sodding, 120 points was a perfect score. Schools were asked to document their number of volunteers and provide pictures and videos of their work, which can be found on my Facebook page: Christine Moore OCPS Board Member.
Rock Springs Elementary finished in first place with 120 points. The judges were impressed with the work involved in replacing two large beds in the rotunda area, large scale trimming of the laurel oaks and complete weeding and mulching of the school’s numerous large landscape beds. Congratulations to new principal, Nathan Hay and his team of Rockets.
Zellwood Elementary School was only two points behind Rock Springs. Under the able leadership of Frank Mattuci, this school has placed first or second 4 years in a row. Their beautiful rose garden, pristine beds, new plantings, and bleached and revitalized amphitheater are truly a delight to see. The nearly 100 volunteers worked for five hours on a Saturday receiving lunch for their efforts.
There was a tie between Lovell and Apopka Elementary Schools with 110 points each. Lovell had over 60 students, teachers and parents participate in weeding and mulching an extraordinary large amount of landscaped areas. Principal Aguirre and crew worked hard with hand tools. Next year a dad with power tools could certainly lighten the load. Apopka Elementary planned and planted two new butterfly gardens, engaged volunteers from Trinity Baptist Church and several dozen parents and students. The school looks stellar for motorists as they exit SR 451 at Vick Road.
Additional schools finishing in the top 10 were Apopka Memorial Middle School, Wolf Lake Middle School and Lakeville Elementary School. Other schools from the Ocoee and Winter Garden areas did great work as well. Dream Lake received honorable mention for the work in adding plants to those recently planted during their comprehensive renovation.
I conceived the idea of the Fall Beautification Contest four years again. It was an effort to maintain school grounds ourselves rather than shifting classrooms dollars to maintenance. Students and staff are grateful for the new buildings and demonstrate their appreciation by picking up trash, weeding beds and placing down fresh mulch. If there are any partners who would like to assist with additional beautification it would be appreciated. From now to the end of the year our students and schools must focus completely on academics. Nevertheless, the grounds look terrific and I encourage you to visit one of your neighborhood schools.
Christine Moore is a three-term Orange County School Board member from District 7 which includes Apopka and Zellwood.