Press Releases Banner

Groundhog Day Celebration Benefits School's Spring Garden

Community Members can Test their Shadows' Forecasting Skills

Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog prophet, is not the only one who will get to test his shadow this Groundhog Day. 

Just like Punxsutawney Phil will emerge from his hole in Pennsylvania to shed light on whether winter will linger another six weeks or end early, families and community members can test their shadows as part of the many Groundhog Day activities from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the corner of E. Eighth St. and Swenson Ave.

The event, which benefits Blackshear Elementary School's spring garden, includes a live performance by children's songwriter and performer Laura Freeman and a reading from the book "Crazy Loco" by Tejano author David Rice.

Gardening at the campus has become an educational and community-building experience for Blackshear students. Each Friday, they participate in enrichment classes in the garden, where they learn to plant and harvest vegetables that they share with their families. The students also plan to sell their garden greens at a neighborhood market by the school. 

"Our Blackshear Elementary School students are learning resiliency, sustainability concepts, 21st century skills in reading, math, physical science, chemistry and communications. They are gaining confidence in their abilities during their garden enrichment time," Principal Betty Jenkins said. "Texas winters are pretty good for growing garden crops, so we are not too concerned if we have six more weeks of winter. We welcome the community's support to help improve our growing garden for our students." 

All funds received at the event will be used to purchase items from the school's Spring garden wish list, which includes small watering cans, an automatic timer and fittings for a drip irrigation system, decomposed granite and a picnic table.

"School gardens give kids an opportunity to get engaged with their food," Jess Guffey from the Sustainable Food Center said. "Participating in the growing process fosters a willingness to try new foods, as well as an appreciation for the environment, teamwork and much more."