McDougle Campus & Gardens Beautification Committee

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

Committe 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 .

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