It is an absolute pleasure to watch our students run along the sidewalks and then slow down as they enter our new habitat, observing the beauty of the plants, feeling the foliage, smelling the blooms, and experiencing nature. We wouldn’t have this habitat without the hard work of many, the generous donations of our families and neighbors, and the wonderful support of several local businesses. I’d like to highlight these businesses, and I encourage you to visit them and return their support where you can. Let them know, too, that you are from Caraway and that our whole school is so grateful for how they have helped our children grow. And remember, you can always refer friends and family members to our sponsors, as well!
I am listing these in no particular order, but we are grateful to each and every sponsor. Thank you, sponsors!
Fred Tillman Contractors, Inc. (701 W. Bee Cave Road, Austin, Texas 78746; (512-327-4509) — a local contractor specializing in earth retention, concrete work, excavation, curbs, water features, and much more
Breed & Co. (718 W. 29th St., Austin, TX 78705; (512) 474-6679) — an exceptional local home and garden store, with unique and beautiful gifts and a complete variety of tools and other hardware supplies, and a nursery to boot!
Natural Gardener (8648 Old Bee Cave Road, Austin, TX, 78735; (512) 288-6113) — an outstanding resource for native and adapted plants, veggies and herbs, organic soils and composts, garden art, and organic gardening products and information, with beautiful grounds of their own
Native Texas Nursery (a wholesale nursery located east of Austin and specializing in plants native to or adapted to Texas; though you might not be able to purchase directly from this great company, you can support them by shopping with our local Austin nurseries who buy their plants and by referring landscapers and other businesses to them; 1-877-9NATIVE)
Geo Growers (12002 Highway 290 West, Austin, TX 78737; (512) 288-4405) a great source of outstanding fertile, organic soils and other compost and landscaping materials; as well as a large variety of products perfect for organic gardening in Central Texas
Wild Birds Unlimited, Lakeline location (14010 US 183N, Suite 515, Austin TX 78717; (512) 335-1700) — an incredible store with some of the best birdfeeders and birdseed around, along with many other unique wildlife products
Keep Austin Beautiful, our local support organization that provides free of charge the tools required to clean and beautify this great city of ours
ResCare Services, Inc., which provides residential services for persons with intellectual disabilities — contact Robert Steronko for more information at 512-328-1832
And some of our Caraway neighbors who asked to remain anonymous but generously donated plants and money to support our habitat — you are truly what makes a community a community, and we are so happy you are part of our Caraway family
***I also want to give a special thank you to Richard Fowler for designing and creating our beautiful arbor and helping in so many other ways, JT for helping our masonry work come to be, Shelly Hohmann for her enthusiastic support, all of our Habitat Team and teachers for their help and support, Marci Purcell for keeping me sane in the early stages of this project and for all her research and time spent on the habitat and Legacy of Giving projects, all the PTA officers and members who gave their time and wisdom to get things rolling along with fundraising and other needs, to all the 3rd and 4th grade teachers who worked so hard with their students on the Legacy of Giving habitat project, Kelly Ledford from the Wildflower Center for teaching our kids about native TX plants, Travis Audubon for donating education materials for our Legacy of Giving students, Pam Baurkemper for patiently answering all my questions, Michael O’Reilly for helping on the arbor and doing anything else asked of him, Mary Ann Fitch and the Girl Scouts for keeping our volunteers alive with drinks and snacks on Dig Day, Marci Shrull for getting the volunteers organized and collecting raffle prizes, Kelly Henley for collecting tools from Keep Austin Beautiful and delivering them home again, the Hattons for their most wonderful help in acquiring our limestone donation, Tom Chavez and RRISD for all their support, Liz McDonald for all her wonderful suggestions and help, and of course a BIG thank you again to everyone who contributed to our Giving Tree and/or sweated and ached with us on Dig Day!
And I also have to thank my kids for learning how to cook when mom was stuck at the computer or running countless errands during all the planning and implementation stages of this habitat!***
If I have forgotten anyone, please bonk me on the head and remind me, and I promise to fix my mistake as soon as possible!
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