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Compassion grows in Holy Trinity garden

Holy Trinity School elementary students Matthew Janicki, 7, of Cameron Park, Rachel Harvey, 8, of Cameron Park and Solita Miller, 7 1/2, of El Dorado Hills, left to right, enjoy looking at the pumpkins growing in their new school garden. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene
Holy Trinity School elementary students Matthew Janicki, 7, of Cameron Park, Rachel Harvey, 8, of Cameron Park and Solita Miller, 7 1/2, of El Dorado Hills, left to right, enjoy looking at the pumpkins growing in their new school garden. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene
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Holy Trinity School students gathered amongst squash, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, herbs and Biblical plants like bay and artichokes to officially dedicate their school garden Tuesday.

Principal Trisha Uhrhammer said she’s advocated for the garden since taking her leadership role at the El Dorado Hills school.

“I realized some children never had any experience in a garden,” Uhrhammer said. “We hope this garden will broaden their education and give them a love of the Earth.”

For two years school garden advocates have worked with the parish’s Human Concerns Ministry, as well as parents, parishioners and community partners, to make it a reality. A blessing and a song Tuesday morning capped off those efforts.

“It’s so exciting,” Uhrhammer said while looking around at the fenced-in garden with 10 planter boxes blossoming with vegetables and herbs. Donated wine barrels filled with flowers add color and cheer to the space, which has a great view of the valley.

Each class will have age-appropriate “labs” in the garden, she explained. Student leaders and eighth-graders planted the first vegetables and herbs in June and all students will help in some way to keep the garden thriving and growing.

The educational component of the garden will also include a lesson in compassion.

“(The children) will learn how to labor to benefit others,” Uhrhammer explained.

Holy Trinity’s produce will be donated to The Upper Room in Placerville, where meals are served to those in need. Msgr. James Kidder told the students there’s no better way to share than giving “God’s food for all people.”

“It’s a wonderful thing they’re doing, giving the produce to The Upper Room,” said Jan Wilcox, community outreach specialist with Mercy Folsom.

The hospital, as part of its Growing Well with Mercy program, and El Dorado Disposal donated supplies and money toward the garden project. Wilcox presented the school with an award “for supporting the health and wellness of our communities” at Tuesday’s event.

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