Before I share the exciting pictures of our new habitat, I want to express our most heartfelt gratitude to all the volunteers who spent much of their Saturday and every available muscle they had digging in very difficult soil; pulling out weeds and bermuda; moving soil, decomposed granite, and mulch; and planting plants. There is no way we could have done this without every one of our dedicated families and Austin friends, as well as the businesses and neighbors who helped support us. I am not going to lie — it was VERY hard work, and by the time all the tools were put away, it was almost 7pm. Starting at 9am and going until dinnertime makes for a very long day! Many of us will be feeling the sore muscles and sunburns for a few days to come!
But the results are outstanding, and I’m so proud that on Monday our students will get to see the new habitat for the first time. And now… pictures!
Dig Day actually began on Friday. The finishing touches were added to the beautiful arbor,
tools were collected from Keep Austin Beautiful,
the remaining plants for the garden were picked up,
three trucks arrived to deliver our soil, mulch, and decomposed granite,
and Habitat Team members and Girl Scouts got ready for our volunteers with raffle prizes, sign-in sheets, food and drink supplies, and more.
At last the morning of Dig Day arrived, and by 9am, our first volunteers were already hard at work.
The hardest task was before us — breaking through the Bermuda grass, weeds, hard soil, and rocks to prep the beds and pathways.
It was a sight to behold – everyone worked so hard to get the job done. The sun certainly didn’t make it easier, and sunscreen, cold drinks, snacks, and pizza were much appreciated.
Our principal and a few teachers were there to cheer everyone on and help where they could.
After a few hours, it was finally time to start moving over some of the new soil and the decomposed granite for the pathways.
And before we knew it (ok, it was still awhile), we finally were able to start placing the plants.
Having the soil and plants in place really transformed the habitat. In the process, witnesses saw our first two butterflies!
Behold the O.W.L. — Caraway’s Outdoor Wildlife Lab!
In the next post, I plan to thank our sponsors, so please visit and support these businesses when you can. I also will list all the plants in our garden, for those who are interested.
THANK YOU AGAIN, EVERYONE — not just those who volunteered, but everyone who made it possible through their generous donations during our fundraising drive. The habitat is just absolutely beautiful.
For the next phase, we are working on a large water collection system. More changes to come!