ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Some call it the ‘secret garden’ at Permian High School.
Luis Trejo Fuentes an art teacher at the school is leading the effort along with students and other teachers to clean it up for the holiday.
“We have a lot of students who are in bad situations and school is a safe space,” said Fuentes. “If they can’t get the experience with [having] the joy of Christmas at home, then we are trying to give them that.”
The garden needs a lot of helping hands.
“This was started by a wonderful group of people as a habitat … it had fallen into disrepair,” said art teacher Cheryl Stribling.
The garden is more than 20 years old.
“A lot of these trees you see are 20 to 25-year-old trees that have now matured,” said art teacher Pam Burkhaulter.
Stribling walked us through the damage in the garden following the winter freeze.
“One of the most beautiful trees out here is halfway gone,” she pointed out.
To bring the garden back to life, they need the community’s help.
“The plan is we are going to clean back up and turn it into an event space and turn it into an art gallery,” Fuentes added.
At this time of year, they are trying to add more Christmas spirit.
“We really look at lighting it up for Christmas, any lights [for] outdoors, please send them out way,” Stribling shared. “The kids want this to be a wonderland.”
Students like Alyssa Beresil said she wants to be place where students feel welcomed.
“The past years I have walked around and just kind of it and it’s always been real dead,” said Beseril.
The hope is to bring light to the garden by next year.
“I just want to be a place where students to feel welcomed,” she said.
Christmas decorations are now being collected for the garden. The garden is in need of volunteers to help clean up as well.
If you would like to donate your time or decorations, call (432) 456-0039 and ask for Mr. Fuentes.