Weeds overtook garden beds, shrubs went untrimmed and overgrown grass surrounded a large stone acknowledgement in a Fort Worth elementary school garden — a reminder of the neglect it has experienced over the last two years.

On Nov. 3, volunteers from Fidelity Investments, Blue Zones North Texas Healthy Communities and Bonnie Brae Elementary School on3504 Kimbo Road worked to renovate the school garden to its pre-pandemic glory.

“The garden has been here for years, but just like most school gardens around, it was neglected during the pandemic,” said Adjoa Brown, the program manager for Blue Zones North Texas Healthy Communities. “So we’re just happy to get it up and running again and make it over. It’ll be growing and thriving, giving it new life.”

In addition to the current garden cleanup, the workers built new garden beds and an area for hands-on learning. New programming will be implemented as the garden rejuvenation continues, Brown said.

Bonnie Brae Elementary School is one of approximately 50 Blue Zones Project-approved schools in the Metroplex. Each Blue Zones Project-approved school is responsible for “helping kids make smart choices about staying healthy” and making it “easier for schools to teach students how to lead longer, happier lives,” according to its website.

The Bonnie Brae Elementary School garden is the first of three school garden renovations happening this year and in 2023, Brown said. The other two school gardens haven’t been finalized yet.

“It’s not just the physical garden deal. But it’s part of a learning garden program. So it’s not just building the gardens, but professional development, too,” Brown said. “Food grown (here) will be culturally relevant to the community. It’ll be the tomatoes, the onions, the peppers that are part of the rich cultural heritage here.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSoto

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. He can be reached at cristian.arguetasoto@fortworthreport.org or (817) 317-6991.