Growing to Give Back

by | Nov 20, 2023 | Education, Kids, Online Exclusives, Pender County

Through the Greater Topsail Area Community Garden, Topsail High School students help address food insecurity.

Pender County Schools is thrilled to highlight an extraordinary initiative that underscores the outstanding contributions of Topsail High School students within the Pender County community.

This year Topsail High School has taken a leading role in a project partnered by the Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island and the Surf City Rotary Club — the Greater Topsail Area Community Garden. This project not only showcases the spirit of unity and community service, but also demonstrates the power of youth involvement in creating positive change.

Shane and Siobhan Dedication Bench

It all began with a simple conversation among former Kiwanis Club Secretary Cathi Litcher, Treasurer Kimberly Patrizi and then-President Nicki Swafford. Swafford’s suggestion of starting a community garden for Share the Table, a local organization committed to neighbors feeding neighbors, was met with an enthusiastic “Yes” from Litcher and Patrizi.

With a generous land donation from Cathi Litcher and her husband, the idea took root and blossomed, thanks to the dedication and hard work of Topsail High School students and staff. The students have been instrumental in bringing this vision to life.

Community Garden THS

Siobhan Fargo, Topsail High School’s career and technical education coordinator, played a significant role in connecting the project with student interns and various school groups.

The horticulture students and Future Farmers of America helped plan and plant the garden, the woodworking class was instrumental in building raised beds, picnic tables and benches, and the National Honor Society students joined the Key Club in volunteering to work in the garden.

This project has not only brought students from different backgrounds together but has also encouraged their active involvement in shaping their community. It is a testament to the commitment of Topsail High School students in giving back to the community and addressing important issues like food insecurity.

Community Garden Build Topsail High

Moreover, the project has inspired students to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to enhance the garden’s impact. Students have expressed a strong sense of purpose and personal growth through their involvement in the project.

Their contributions go beyond the garden and extend to educational opportunities, leadership development and creating a lasting community investment.

In addition to providing physical support for the garden, Topsail High School students have also demonstrated their commitment to the project’s longevity and the betterment of the community. Their enthusiasm and dedication serve as an example of the positive impact that young individuals can have when given the opportunity to make a difference.

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Topsail Magazine Contributor

Topsail Magazine Contributor