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Living Wall at Cherryhurst Park

Year-round sustainable gardening for hands-on learning

“This is basil. I love basil!” exclaimed a 5th-grader pointing out a bunch growing from the Living Wall at Cherryhurst Park. He and other 6- to 13-year-olds tended to the vertical garden all summer while attending the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) Summer Enrichment Program at the park. The children are growing herbs, fruits, flowers and vegetables with the help of Flora Moon, an active member of the Cherryhurst Civic Association and the Director of Sustainability with Expressworks.

Moon shared her expertise with the children in the Summer Enrichment Program through a partnership between the Cherryhurst Civic Association and HPARD. Consisting of wood, drip irrigation and plastic planters called “Woolly Pockets,” the Living Wall was envisioned by Moon and brought to life with funding from the Friends of Cherryhurst Park and through the work of Houston Parks Board and the Cherryhurst Civic Association.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to give back to the city by supporting the Summer Enrichment Program,” explains Moon. She sees the Living Wall as a gardening experiment that’s engaging the residents of Cherryhurst in a way that connects them to nature and to each other.

The Friends of Cherryhurst Park, the non-profit that supports the Living Wall, is thrilled with the impact of the vertical garden. Providing the children in HPARD’s Enrichment Programs hands-on opportunities to learn sustainability in an urban environment fits their goal of increasing the use and offerings of Cherryhurst Park. “It’s so rewarding to see the park working so well for the children and for the community. Now it’s vibrant,” Director of the Friends of Cherryhurst Park Carol Rensink says of the newly improved park. With the addition of the Living Wall, Cherryhurst Park now has an ongoing educational experience. Rensink explains the wall will continue to be maintained by children in HPARD’s After School Enrichment Program at the park and by volunteers from the Cherryhurst community after the Summer Enrichment Program is over.

Through the partnership between the Cherryhurst Civic Association and HPARD, the impact of this project was immediate. The Living Wall truly enhances the sense of place for the neighborhood with a beautiful, living art piece in Cherryhurst Park that provides the residents with an opportunity to engage in sustainable gardening.

This is one of many projects Houston Parks Board helps make possible in parks across Houston. Please remember Houston Parks Board in your year-end charitable giving. Make a tax-deductible donation today!