Posted February 19, 2024

TUDPS to rebuild greenhouse for North Philadelphia high school

Temple University’s Department of Public Safety just started reconstruction on a greenhouse for students of George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, with hopes to complete the project this spring.  

Photography By: 
Matt Petrillo
Members of the Department of Public Safety are helping to rebuild a greenhouse for students of George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science.

Members of Temple University’s Department of Public Safety, along with members of Temple’s men’s crew team, the Delta Mu chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and other student organizations came together last week to clean out and begin to rebuild an old greenhouse outside of George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science.

“These students deserve a new greenhouse and garden to bring learning to life. And we’re going to build it for them,” said Temple Police Officer Leroy Wimberly. 

Removing big dirt mounds, tearing off an old plastic wrapping from the structure and cleaning out the greenhouse is the first phase of a weekslong project that Wimberly initiated. 

“To be out there with the students as police officers, it shows them that we’re just like them,” Wimberly said. “We can garden with them and it creates a stronger bond within the community.” 

This effort is all for Carver High School students, who have established a sustainable food movement.

“I think it’s wonderful that Temple University police officers came out here,” said senior Carver High School student Simone Richardson. “It shows that they are committed to the community and willing to help us out. It’s always great to see them in the neighborhood, they’re always helpful.”

Richardson is one of many Carver students who were accepted to Temple to continue their education.

“It’s a beautiful campus!” she said.

Wimberly said building that connection between prospective students and the university is an important part of community policing. 

Carver High School Assistant Principal Elizabeth Curry said Temple’s support would allow the greenhouse to be transformed into an outside classroom.

“It would mean talking about environmental impacts and climate change and what that means for our community and students,” Curry said.

She added that Carver is a hub for her students.

“It’s a home away from home, and I hope that rebuilding the greenhouse and regrowing our garden will add to that feeling of a home even more,” Curry said.  

The goal is to build a new greenhouse by April 1, which is weather dependent.

“Temple University is a neighbor to these students, so to have university police officers, security officers and dispatchers here, it bridges the gap and builds a relationship,” said Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin. “It’s so important they know us and we know them so they know they can trust our police officers if they need to call us.”

The partnership is a part of Temple Public Safety’s risk reduction program.

“Temple Police and our other partners support our students in more ways than one and we are eternally grateful, so thank you!” said Curry.

Students agree.

“Thank you for all that you’ve done for the Carver community,” said Richardson. “We appreciate you very much.”