School Garden Recognized

Abraxas High School’s garden recently won a number of awards recognizing the hard work and outstanding results by students, staff, and community volunteers. Poway Valley Garden Club (PVGC) nominated the garden for recognition by the Palomar District of the California Garden Club, Inc. (CGCI), and the garden won the first place CGCI Community Impact Award. At the national level, the Abraxas School Garden then won first place awards for Community Beautification and the Kellogg Civic Achievement Award.

The Abraxas School Garden was born in 2015, when Abraxas teachers Bob Lutticken and Robert Saxton decided to find a better purpose for the underused tennis courts on campus. The years following have seen a remarkable transformation at the Pomerado Rd. site, with students playing an active role. “The Construction and Agriculture staff and students designed and built the garden, structures, irrigation, aquaponics and raised beds, filtering systems, and a 15-square-foot Tilapia in-ground pond,” explained Marcia Clingman, PVGC Publicity Chair. “Economics and English students work on grants, business models, and managing the website for the gardens.”

The students are part of the PVGC Youth Garden Club, and several PVGC members regularly volunteer at the garden. They’re all dedicated to making a difference at Abraxas and beyond. “In 2017, Abraxas donated over 2,700 pounds of fresh produce to a local food bank,” Marcia said. “They are creating new garden innovations, expanding the garden to include a small grove of fruit trees, test marketing their produce, and landscaping areas on the school grounds.”

Abraxas High School is a continuation high school providing a personal, supportive environment for students at risk of not receiving a high school diploma. Learn more about the garden at