BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified School District will soon celebrate the opening of the Baldwin Park High School Peace and Pride Garden, a tranquil space for students to relax among beautiful flowers, herbs and greenery.
In May, the Peace and Pride Garden will have a grand opening celebration hosted by the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) club, who created the space in a joint venture with the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club.
“In the NAMI club we raise awareness of mental illness, provide a safe space for people to come together, and do things that have a positive impact on students,” NAMI club president Kathy Chhay said. “Being at school so often can be kind of tiring, so the Peace and Pride Garden is a refreshing space for students.”
Construction of the Peace and Pride Garden was proposed by NAMI club advisor Nicole Melamed as a safe space for students to relax and interact. Once the garden has officially opened, all students are welcome to rest under its gazebo among approximately 40 seedling and blooming plants, including lavender, sunflowers, kale and pea plants.
“The GSA club goes to the Peace and Pride Garden after our meetings. We’ve seen that garden go from a few dry weeds into what it is now: a sanctuary for everybody,” GSA club president Saul Mares said. “It is a really calm and serene place to help students with their mental health and let them take a break from the world.”
The Peace and Pride Garden has been created with support and donations from Baldwin Park Unified School District, as well as Baldwin Park High teachers and staff.
NAMI and GSA club officers raised funds to construct the garden by asking their school community to ‘sponsor a succulent.’ Students and teachers donated $3 per plant and will have a succulent with a dedication to them placed in the Peace and Pride Garden.
With the help of a $1,500 grant from Gro More Good received by GSA club advisor Michelle Humason, students plan to purchase a variety of plants, as well as a beautiful mini butterfly garden.
An additional $500 donation from Kaiser Permanente has supplied the Peace and Pride Garden with a gazebo for events and workshops, a trellis for plants, seeds, an expandable hose and various plants, including a wishing tree.
“We are proud of the efforts made by our students and by the Baldwin Park community to create this beautiful space,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “The Peace and Pride Garden is an extension of the support and emotional safety our District strives to provide its students.”
BPUSD_GARDEN_1: NAMI club leaders Maya Garcia, Jess Huang and Amily Chhay assembled a trellis, purchased through the support of Kaiser Permanente, that will serve as a prominent fixture in the Peace and Pride Garden.