School Science Garden Opens










Ysabel Barnett Elementary School in Temecula celebrated the opening of the Ysabel Barnett Science Garden on Thursday night during the school’s Parent Open House.

The garden has been a two-year ongoing volunteer effort to create a sustainable and edible science garden environment for students, teachers and parents of the school community.

Thursday evening Mayor Ron Roberts planted a tomato plant into the first planter bed during the garden’s dedication ceremony after speaking with gathered parents and educators.

Submitted to The Press-Enterprise
Temecula Mayor Ron Roberts participates in the dedication of the Ysabel Barnett Science Garden.

The garden was created by the fathers of three students. The parent volunteers did the layout, the grunt work and spoke with vendors and other organizations to get materials and funding.

Steve Massa acted as project manager, Ryan Strehorn created the layout and Kevin Needle shared his gardening and DIY experience.

“I was really pleased with how it turned out,” Massa said. “Our garden site is quite impressive and I’ve loved being part of it.”

The dedicated garden site is about 11,000 square feet and contains 21 raised garden beds with an automatic irrigation and fertilizer system, in addition to an apple tree, citrus trees, a common area and several picnic tables.

Funding for the garden came from Ysabel Barnett Elementary PTO, student recycling, Temecula Valley Slow Foods and donations.

“The teachers are really starting to take an interest … with lots of enthusiasm,” Massa said. “It’s exciting … they’re asking for plants and lesson plans. They’ll take it to the next level.”

Reach Jennifer Dean at 951-368-9336,,


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