Posted April 22, 2024

TUDPS recognizes Earth Day by unveiling greenhouse

Temple University’s Department of Public Safety rebuilt a greenhouse for students of George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science and participated in a spring cleanup for Earth Day.

Photography By: 
Matt Petrillo
Members of the Department of Public Safety celebrated after holding a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday to unveil a newly rebuilt greenhouse, which Temple Police officers put together for students of Carver High School.

Temple University Police Officer Leroy Wimberly held a giant pair of giant scissors as he cut a ribbon and unveiled a renovated greenhouse on Monday that he and other Temple police officers rebuilt at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science.

“We donated materials, our skills and time to rebuild the greenhouse,” Wimberly said. “Temple University is a neighbor to these students, so to have university police officers, security officers and dispatchers here, it bridges the gap and continues to build relationships.” 

Temple Deputy Police Chief Mike Smith agreed. 

“It’s so important that community members know us and we know them so they know they can trust our police officers if they need to call us,” Smith said. 

Members of Temple University’s Department of Public Safety, along with members of Temple’s men’s crew team, Temple’s Facilities Department, the Delta Mu chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and other student organizations came together back in February to begin rebuilding the old greenhouse, located outside of Carver.

“I remember the greenhouse was old and looked like it needed a lot of elbow grease and now it looks beautiful,” said Tyra Baker, a senior student at Carver.

She added that after she graduates from Carver, she’ll be excited to visit her alma mater because of the greenhouse. 

“It means a lot because I’ll be able to come back and say, ‘I was here for that,’” she said.

Baker isn’t going far for her higher education. She’ll begin her college career at Temple and plans to major in music technology. 

“I chose Temple because I’ve been dreaming about the music college since I was younger and I really feel like it’s a great school,” Baker said. “The fact that Temple loves to give back, like by rebuilding the greenhouse, reassures me that I made the right decision.”

The greenhouse renovation project was months in the making. First, big dirt mounds were removed, an old plastic wrapping from the structure was torn off and the inside of the greenhouse was gutted. 

Wimberly said that while the project required a lot of elbow grease, building a connection between prospective students and the university is an important part of community policing. 

Carver students rely on the greenhouse and use it as an outside classroom. They have also established a sustainable food movement. 

Carver 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.

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

“When students learn to grow vegetables and plants themselves, they’re also learning about their community,” said Monica Hankins-Padilla, external relations coordinator at Temple Public Safety. “It’s thrilling to be a part of that.”