Troop 1041 Making A Difference

Girl Scout Daisy Troop 1041 has been busy planting host and nectar plants for butterflies in the “La Serenidad” Prayer Garden at Espiritu Santo Catholic School. On April 10, a fun and meaningful celebration was held to commemorate their garden journey. Daisy Troop 1013 (ESCS first grade troop), who initiated the butterfly garden last year, joined the girls for a garden picnic, friendship activities, certification ceremony, butterfly release, and egg hunt. The garden was certified through the North American Butterfly Association and Monarch Watch as an official waystation to help with conservation efforts. The garden is currently home to four different species of butterflies. Fresh treats from The Laura Beach Giving Garden were served including mint tea, various herb dips, fresh carrots, sugar snap peas, and green smoothies made from the abundance of recently grown kale. An amazing and memorable time was had by all.

New Sign in the Giving Garden

New Sign in the Giving Garden


Have you seen it? There’s something new in the Laura Beach Giving Garden! A brand new, beautiful sign was installed this weekend, designed by Patrick Tolliver and created/donated by Daryl Jones and his team at Florida Metal Services ( Patrick Tolliver and Matt Cox installed it by hand Friday night.

Our sincerest thank you to the many families who helped the Laura Beach Giving Garden vision become a reality for the past 2 years – led by Alicia Thacker, many families and students have gotten their hands dirty making the garden come to life. A special thanks goes out to the Tolliver, Cox, Wilkinson, Spoor, Rooth, Santana, Jones, Fensky and Thacker families. These men and women have physically worked hours for the Laura Beach Giving Garden to become what it is today … a place of life, learning and joy for the students of Espiritu Santo Catholic School. What a wonderful contribution to our community in honor of a beautiful woman, our beloved Laura Beach. 

Brand New Butterfly Habitat

Check out the new Butterfly Habitat in the Laura Beach Giving Garden! Thank you to Nicole Robichaux, who built this amazing learning tool for ESCS. Today, kindergarten students visited the Check out the new Butterfly Habitat in the Laura Beach Giving Garden! Thank you to Nicole Robichaux, who built this amazing learning tool for ESCS. Today, kindergarten students visited thehabitat to take a look at the big caterpillars currently in residence. They’re getting ready to build a chrysalis … and there’s one chrysalis already becoming a butterfly! If you look close enough at the chrysalis you can see the butterfly wings inside. Last week, PreK 3 took a trip out to the Garden to check on their bush beans and have started their own ladybug habitat. We will release ladybugs into the garden when they are grown. Beautiful life is in bloom in the Giving Garden!




Composting with OOCG

Composting with OOCG

In December, the Oldsmar Organic Community Garden (OOCG) hosted a composting workshop for fourth grade students at Espiritu Santo Catholic School. Through a grant from Simply Organic 1%, volunteers from OOCG ( prepared educational materials and spent time with the students demonstrating how to make healthy soil for an organic garden through composting. The fourth grade students will create their own compost for the Laura Beach Giving Garden at Espiritu Santo Catholic Church & School by collecting compostable scraps from school lunches (including leftovers from our lunch provider, Saltwater Catering) and then processing the scraps through the composting system built for them by the OOCG!

The purpose of the Giving Garden is to educate students about agricultural science, basic horticultural organic and sustainable gardening practices and promote healthy eating habits. Having this hands-on agricultural “Lab” right on the Espiritu Santo campus is a wonderful opportunity; experiences in the Giving Garden enhance what students are already learning through the science curriculum taught in the classroom.

Students will have the opportunity to taste the crop grown in the Giving Garden, but the majority of the harvest will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul, Pinellas Hope and Oldsmar Cares to be used in meals for those who don’t have access to fresh vegetables. As a Catholic school, we value the opportunity the Garden brings to demonstrate Catholic Social Justice at work. Catholic Social Justice means teaching our students to care for God’s creation, as well as care for the poor and vulnerable – this is where the Giving Garden will bring our Catholic faith into action for our students. Students will learn about sustainable farming practices, as well as create food that will help others thrive. All of the lessons learned through the Giving Garden will help our students develop into adults who will make a positive impact on the communities of the future.

If you would like to get involved with the good things growing in Espiritu Santo Giving Garden, contact Alicia Thacker.