McDougle Campus & Gardens Beautification Committee

Campus Beautification Meet-Up May 22, 2022, 3-5 pm

Hello Everyone!!! This may be our last Gardens & Grounds meet-up this school year!!! We have done so much for the campus. Our goal for this meet- up is spruce up (and water) the areas we have been working on (interior garden, front quad, memorial tree), spread some mulch to fight back weeds (front entrance & interior garden), and lastly but really important- get the grade level raised beds where they need to be to plant some marigolds and potatoes!! We will accept donations- bring marigolds or garden soil/compost. The vegetable garden in the interior space is looking great. Ms. Olly has been working with grades to do activities (mindfulness & STEM- they even cooked kale chips!). Other teachers are wanting to work in end of the year lessons too...but we their gardens are not quite ready. This weekend, with your help, we can change that!

Tools needed: Wheelbarrow, hoe, rake, shovel, pitch fork, watering can, ...for yourself....gloves, sunscreen, hat, and again, any marigolds or garden soil donations will be accepted! Kiddos are welcome. It is hot so plan as needed.

Here is the link for the sign-up :

Come for an hour or stay the whole time. We will watch the weather too. Looking forward to getting in there one more time before school ends. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Come Join the McDougle Elementary School Outside Art Team!

We are recruiting parents to repaint the outside sidewalk art on campus (US Map, Four Square, etc.). We will be using oil based paint, so this is a parent/teenager volunteer opportunity. Images of the current sidewalk art in need of refreshing are posted below. An informational & training session was held on May 15 - you can see the progress from adding the black outlines to the map! Email Heather Kennealy ( or Ms. Zincone ( for more information. We hope you will join our team to brighten the campus! And much appreciation to the enitre team of volunters for their hard work so far! Our next workshop will be Wednesday, June 8th, 2022, from 3-5 pm.

Campus Beautification Meet-Up March 20, 2022

On March 20th a great group of teachers, staff, parents and students (including students from Carrboro High School) partnered with CHCCS Facility staff to prepare the MES campus for spring. We spread mulch, plucked weeds, built 2 raised bed gardens, installed a stone retaining border, and planted flowers as well as other plants. We even removed a cinder block garden that was a snake haven that has been around for 15+ years!! Great job volunteers. Sincere gratitude for all who came out and the facility staff who supported our community. Thank you again Bobby Woodard and your crew who worked until after 6pm on a Sunday for MES. Photos are here Special thanks also to Southern States for continuing to support our efforts on campus. This spring, Southern States of Carrboro donated over a dozen bags of topsoil and potting soil, as well as gave the school a plant discount. Thank you Southern States!

Announcement: Campus Beautification Meet-Up March 20, 2022

All are welcome to the next MES Campus Beautification committee (Gardens & Grounds) event on Sunday, March 20th from 1pm to 4pm. Sign-up at

Do you use a compost service? Now is a great time to donate your compost to MES. if you have compost to donate please contact Heather Kennealy at We will use it!!

For more information on meeting goals and needed supplies, see We look forward to seeing you!

We hope to achieve the following on March 20th:

(1) Plant flowers in the pre-school/school entrance area.

(2) Plant flowers in the memorial area in the interior garden space.

(3) Place stepping stones or do other garden maintenance leftover from the previous work day.

(4) Remove the cinder block garden in the 4th grade area. make sure raised bed gardens are in good shape.

(5) Plant mondo grass and flowers for the front entrance by road. General maintenance of this area.

(6) Blue Bird houses relocation/refurbishment.

Supplies Needed: 1. Flowers to plant; 2. Mondo grass; 3. Stepping stones; 4. Garden soil; 5. Mulch. 6. Needs for the bluebird houses.

Campus Beautification Meet-Ups in February and March

Now that the warmer weather is approaching, the MES Campus Beautification committee (Gardens & Grounds) is looking to start up with spring gardening! The first meeting of the season will be on February 20th from 2-4 pm. It should be a lovely day, with temperatures in the 50s. If you would like to get involved or have donations to offer, please reach out to Heather Kennealy at or sign up at

We hope to achieve the following this Sunday:

(1) front corner garden by pre-school. Weed/put down cardboard and soil on top.

(2) Interior garden space.:(a) weed and mulch area where raised beds on legs will go; (b) Weed memorial garden space and plan for plantings. (c)Select stepping stones for the vegetable garden outlined by rocks. (d) Plan reading nook areas in stone garden spaces. (e)Weed/Clean up entry space with bushes. Mulch area to clean up.

(3) If time allows, general leaf removal from the front entrance space. focus on mondo grass areas.

(4) Raised Bed gardens on exterior- need to refresh with new soil

Supplies Needed: 1. 10-20 bags of garden soil. 2. Stepping stones for garden 3. Reading nook ideas! 4. Mulch 5. Need board for Raised bed by 3rd grade with missing front.

Other Upcoming events:

March 20th: 1pm- 4pm. Campus Grounds & Garden Space


(1) Plant flowers in the pre-school/school entrance area.

(2) Plant flowers in the memorial area in the interior garden space.

(3) Place stepping stones or do other garden maintenance leftover from the previous work day.

(4) Remove the cinder block garden in the 4th grade area. make sure raised bed gardens are in good shape.

(5) Plant mondo grass and flowers for the front entrance by road. General maintenance of this area.

(6) Blue Bird houses relocation/refurbishment.

Supplies Needed: 1. Flowers to plant; 2. Mondo grass; 3. Stepping stones; 4. Garden soil; 5. Mulch. 6. Needs for the bluebird houses.

Welcome to Gardens and Grounds!

The PTA is looking forward to sprucing up the McDougle Elementary Campus this year and is looking for volunteers!! Fall is the perfect time of year to start. We are excited!!

So what can you do and where do we start?

  1. If you have any contacts at Southern States, a local tree nursery, or even Fitch Lumber- please the Committee know, as we plan on reaching out to plant/tree nurseries for donations.

  2. Email me if you are interested in joining this committee and helping to plan the next steps!

All are welcome and all are needed so thank you!!

Committee Information

Heather Kennealy, Committee Chair: Heather Kennealy, parent of a rambunctious 4th grader and 1st grader at McDougle Elementary School, is committee chair for the McDougle Campus and Gardens Beautification Committee which she has started to fondly start thinking of as Gardens and Grounds. She can be contacted at .

Allie Lee, Committee Member: Allie has three kids at McDougle, but when she is not parenting she is the STEM & Outdoor Learning Coordinator at Kidzu Children's Museum. She loves science, nature, and gardening in particular. Allie is also a member of the Carrboro Family Garden in MLK park and is currently a board member.

McDougle Gardens & Ground 2021

Gardens and Grounds Event: Interior Garden Space December 12, 2021

We are also planning a meet up this weekend from 2-4 on Sunday December 12, 2021 to complete our Grounds work, focusing on the back playground area and the raised bed gardens near the third grade classrooms. If you can make it, please sign up at All are welcome, and thank you!

Gardens and Grounds Update: Interior Garden Space December 5, 2021

Ms. Ollie, our school social worker and Ms. Capps used grant money this weekend to continue their work in the interior garden space! We had student and parent volunteers plane the kale, rosemary, and chard. Additionally, Mr. Bobby helped spread mulch and soil on the back playground area.

Committee Updates: November 30, 2021

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! There is still more to do, and we are hoping to have another campus beautification day in December. The District brought in more mulch, and we are coordinating dates with other MES events as well as district staff. Our current goal is to hold a beautification day once a month until Spring, and then have another big push. At the moment, what remains are smaller jobs such as removing old garden beds, cleaning up the leaves up front, and putting out some mulch in smaller areas.

MES was given a Willow Oak from Kidzu Children's Museum. Kidzu participated in Arbor Day activities with the town of Chapel Hill and were given this Oak. Allie and Heather are meeting on Friday to identify best planting locations for Ms. Howard to consider. Thank you Kidzu!

Special thanks to Allie Lee and Molly Whittington for donating plants as well as their time and gardening expertise!

We would like to thank the following local businesses for their support:

1. Thank you Fifth Season Gardening for donating two pallets of garden soil!

2. Thank you Southern States for donating 10 bags of top soil, as well as giving us a discount on the grass seed!

3. Thank you to Dunkin Donuts on Franklin Street for donating donuts to our Saturday events!

4. Amy Strunk of Amy Strunk Landscape Design for all her time, help, and advice!

5. Kidzu Children's Museum for donating a Willow Oak!

We are so appreciative of your generosity!

Campus Beautification Event Days - November 6 and 7!

On Saturday, November 6, Mr. Woodard brought 3 loads of mulch. 1 for the front and 2 for the back! We trimmed the crape myrtle trees, dug up tree stumps/roots/weeds, spread mulch and generally went at it today!!

On Sunday, November 7, we spread 3 loads of mulch (that is truck loads!), tackled the interior garden area for the first time, planted plants and put out a few bags of garden soil!! Hard work! The playground in the back got the most mulch and with all hands on deck...we were able to mulch the trees in the main playground / basketball court area.

Extra thanks to Ms. Lee, our GIC ( Gardener In Charge) and Ms. Sneeringer, whose husband used his truck to move mulch around to the front of the school...when we didn't have a bob cat!! Thanks again to Mr. Woodard and his colleague Stevie, who worked tirelessly for three hours, and then at 5:30 left to help another CHCCS school! Thank you to CHCCS for all the support you have given to this project!

Not only did many Dolphins and their families come out to support these efforts both days, but we also had high school student volunteers, middle school student volunteers and students from OTHER elementary schools helping out McDougle!! We had parents come and donate their talents who do not have students at McDougle Elementary! What amazing community support! We are so grateful.

Every volunteer asked if we would do this again. I shared we likely could do a once a month campus crew "work shop". More details to come! If you are interested in learning more, please email We sincerely appreciate the support, whether it is for one hour, one day, or joining as a committee member. Much appreciation to all!


The Gardens and Grounds Committee's second campus clean-up/beautification event is this weekend!!!

Like last time, we will have Dunkin Donuts on Saturday and refreshments on Sunday to support our hard labor!!

Here is the news:

(1) The school district will give us MORE mulch!! Wahoo. PLUS Bobby Woodard will join us this weekend to help us distribute the mulch in the back playground area. We started this in October...glad to get back and finish the job. Thank you CHCCS and Mr. Woodard!

(2) Fifth Season Gardening donated 10+ bags of garden soil. We will be spreading that out this weekend.

(3) Southern States- we are working with them on our "dream sheet" of plants. We may not actually plant things this weekend- but that is ok, cleaning out and preparing the areas...does need to happen first!

(4) Allie Lee did submit a proposal for a $500 grant that could help support the PTA/school in buying more plants/trees for the campus. Thank you Ms. Lee!

In October the team worked on the front of the school. From the road entrance to the school entrance area/Kindergarten area. The Kindergarten space is so improved. The kids were so proud. Thanks to all the families who made this happen!

We know everyone is busy - we have sports, fall leaf colors to see, family, we sincerely appreciate you giving this effort a little of your time. We have 3 hours for each day left to do our best. The weather looks cool but clear/dry. Time to garden!! We will be meeting on Saturday November 6 from 9-12 and on Sunday November 7 from 2-5.

Please feel free to email if you have any questions. We sincerely appreciate the support. Much appreciation to all!

Campus Beautification Event Days - October 23 and 24!

Over the two days, approximately 25 volunteers at the school spread worked on remulching the grounds. It was a great start for sure!!! We had kiddos and parents really making a difference.

We want to say a huge thank you to Mr. Bobby Woodard, the school grounds person for all of CHCCS. He not only dropped off the mulch MES needed during the week, but also brought his bobcat to distribute the mulch to the back!!! Most of the focus over the two days was on the front of the school and the back play areas.

It was a tremendous weekend, but more work remains to be done! Scroll down for more pictures!

We look forward to seeing everyone at our November campus beautification days!

Gardens and Grounds Esp.pdf
Garden and Grounds Info Flyer Oct 2021.pdf

Committee Updates: September 2021

On Monday (9/27/21) Heather Kennealy met for over an hour with a landscape designer (Amy Strunk, Strunk Designs) who graciously donated her time to brainstorm ideas and make recommendations to help our campus. Her trained eye was great. Of course, the laundry list is endless but there are a few areas that with a little help can really shine.

If you are interested in seeing the full plan (with photos) it is available here.

Photos from Fall 2021 Campus Beautification Events