New Garden at Sierra Vista Elementary School Sprouting Community Excitement

By: Pete Parker Email
By: Pete Parker Email

A community garden project at Sierra Vista Elementary School is coming to life after three years in the making. The campus will soon feature a 60 foot by 60 foot section full of fruit and vegetables for the school community and nearby neighborhoods to enjoy.

“I can’t believe it’s finally coming together,” says Jonna AuCoin, school principal. “We weren’t sure it was going to happen until the incredible response we’ve recently received from a group of caring community leaders.”

More than a garden, it will become an “outdoor classroom.” As if growing such things as strawberries, peppers, and flowers wasn’t enough, the garden will be transformed into an opportunity to educate the students. In addition to learning about planting, nurturing, and harvesting, the students will apply their learning through science, math, reading, and writing. “We want students to benefit from the complete educational experience”, says Christine Blum, Sierra Vista’s garden coordinator.

As Blum explains, “we’ve been fortunate to receive the active support, guidance, and assistance from several community leaders. “Leonard Guevara and his crew from Safe Harbors of Nevada are so graciously installing a number of raised garden planters, a new drip system, and a handicap-access pathway.” Another local partner, Reno Lions Club, teamed up with Moana Nursery to donate four ash trees, which will shade an area featuring picnic tables, where classes will be held in the outdoor classroom.

An inspiring team of local businesses have chipped in to make the project the centerpiece of the school and its surrounding neighborhoods. Moana Nursery, Western Nevada Supply, Garden Shop Nursery, and NPcatalyst have donated thousands of dollars’ worth of time and product to the effort. “We’re very happy to be part of such an exciting school and community project,” says Moana Nursery owner, Christie Gescheider. “We’ve created a ‘classroom kit’, which will outfit students with gloves, tools, soil, seeds, etc. to use when they take care of their gardens.” The classroom kit can be purchased at Moana Nursery’s store on Moana Lane by anyone interested in allowing students to gain a hands-on experience. It retails for $110 and comes with public recognition by the school.

The Sierra Vista Outdoor Classroom is featured on a local website,, where donors may purchase (donate) the classroom kits, quickly and securely, online.

For more information about the project, contact Pete Parker at NPcatalyst at 775-333-9444 or

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