Elysian Valley school gets a garden makeover

Photos courtesy Blaire Lennane

Lemon tree will be planted in the middle of a circular bench.

When some of the parents at Dorris Place Elementary asked employees at the nearby Home Depot for help reviving the school garden, they were expecting some packs of flowers or maybe bags of fertilizer. Instead, the Elysian Valley school got an entire new garden, complete with raised planters, benches, fencing as well as  plants.  A crew of Home Depot workers and school volunteers spent three days last week building the new garden at along Riverside Drive, said Blaire Lennane, president of the Partners of Dorris, a school support group. The result, which looks as if a tiny version of a Home Depot garden center was dropped into the corner of the school playground, was opened to students on Friday so they could plant strawberries, chilies and herbs while receiving a brief lesson in botany and plant care. “It’s amazing,” said  Lennane. “It’s not what we expected.”

Given tight school budgets, it will be up to the parents and volunteers to water and maintain the garden. Some of the teachers expressed interest in using the garden to complement lessons the curriculum, said Lennane.

The kids too are are also expected to take part in garden care. In order for the students to take ownership of the garden and plants, small groups of kids were involved in planting, watering and naming individual plants. As an added bonus, the students were told they could get dirty, Lennane said. “The kids were crazy excited.”


  1. Thank you to everyone that helped make this dream come true! The kids have worked so hard and totally deserved this! Big THANKS to Home Depot for the great donations. My whole family is so happy and excited! Every time we drive by we have to stop and take a look!!!! Thanks to all!!!

  2. carlos martin del campo

    WOW, this is amazing, GREAT job to every one, truly amazing work to all.

  3. This is a fantastic garden! Beautiful….it will be even more amazing as it is growing. The students ,faculty and Partners of Dorris Place take such pride in their school and it’s campus……..this is going to make it even more outstanding!
    Thank you Home Depot workers and school volunteers…… here’s to a job well done!!!
    Go POD—-your support is making a huge difference!!

  4. Pretty good PR for the Home Depot!

  5. What a great story. This is such a good example of people (Home Depot, the teachers, and parents) really putting the children first. Well Done!

  6. This is a wonderful project and brings out the best in our community. Thank you Home Depot. Thank you Blaire and all the parents and other community members who got this project under way and contributed time and effort to it. I am gratified to know that so many people still care passionately about our children. It’s clear the children will benefit.

  7. How great for the kids! Beautiful and educational! What a great idea!

  8. Amazing what can be accomplished when community is embraced by all. Elysian Valley residents have been solid supporters of the Home Depot business from the start. It is refreshing to see Home Depot give back in this fashion. As a former Dorris PL tiger , I thank Home Depot, Principal Susan Grant, her staff and countless volunteers for their part in making this project a reality. Keep up the good work!


  9. Thank you so much to Home Depot for their amazing generosity!!! Special thanks to all the Home Depot workers, community volunteers, and staff and parents of Dorris Place, you are all an awesome group of human beings!! Our new garden rocks!!! 🙂

  10. This truly brings tears to my eyes! It was so beautiful watching each classroom come throughout the day and the smiles on the Home Depot team’s faces as well. What a great collaboration! Thanks Home Depot, thanks P.O.D. (Partners of Dorris), and thanks Principal Schmidt for working together to make something incredible for our children.

  11. This is wonderful news!

    Well done parents & support staff at Dorris Place for instigating the project and to the Home Depot volunteers for completing the garden! I’m sure the students will benefit enormously from having a beautiful garden at their school.

  12. Beautiful! I drove by today and noticed the fence from the street. Thanks for the pictures, I was glad it looked as good on the inside as it did from the outside.

  13. Beautiful! Having students and parents help with it is a great idea.

  14. Beautiful. Having kids and parents help with it is a great idea.

  15. What an accomplishment. Dorris Place is truly something special — congratulations to all!!!

  16. As a mom of Dorris Place School I am so grateful to Home Depot and their workers.
    I also want to Thank You Blear, Yolanda Mrs. Schmidt, and Volunteers, the garden looks awesome!! Thank You Teachers, and Students you guys did a good job planting!! Now we wait for the results, I’m so EXCITED!

  17. Anne Marie Grewal

    Wonderful! Thanks to POD and to Home Depot for making this happen. Will look forward to seeing kids with dirty nails as they have a chance to work in their own garden!

  18. Go Dorris Place! Thank you to POD and the students and Home Depot for making such a big investment in this wonderful school.

  19. Amazing how working together great things transpire. Great Work Everyone. Thank you.

  20. This is so incredible! The garden looks amazing. What an inspirational act of the community (Home Depot, the school, POD, the volunteers) all coming together for the children. I am so impressed and blown away!!

    Congrats to Dorris Place!

  21. I am proud to say that my son works for Home Depot and had the privilege of been part of that team that did the work there at Dorris Place. He said it wss a great and gratifying feeling to see the expression on the faces of the kids and staff.

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