Warwick Academy students transform garden
A team of school students helped transform the garden of a former rest home in a major project to tidy up the land.
More than 30 pupils from Warwick Academy joined Habitat for Humanity of Bermuda to battle overgrown vegetation at the vacant property.
Parents and teachers helped in the clean-up at the Pembroke Rest Home and island businesses also played a part.
Jane Vickers, the development officer at Warwick Academy, said: “The old Pembroke Rest Home is an incredible building that has so much potential. We were honoured to be able to be part of the project.”
She said 32 students, two parents, Ralph Woods, the school's head of sixth form, Terri McDowell, the marketing and development executive administrator, and herself “descended on the facility for a full day of vegetation clearing”.
Pupils ranged from Year 7 to Sixth Form and worked on two main areas in the grounds where they removed “extensive overgrowth” over the course of last Saturday.
Ms Vickers said: “Central to the home is a courtyard, or so we were told. You had no idea at all how big it was due to the overgrowth. You couldn't see the other side at all.
“That was our first task to cut down all the vegetation and clear it.”
She continued: “A huge thank you goes to Lushlawn Landscaping who donated their time, chainsaws and truck for the day, which was an essential for the project.
“The students cleared all the brush and loaded it all on to several truck loads for the dump.
“Another area was apparently a sweet sunken garden with a pond. ‘Apparently' was definitely the right word as you couldn't see anything past the first few stairs leading down.
“By the time we left … clear as could be and the pond was being filled up as we left.”
The Parsons Road site served as the Pembroke Rest Home until it was shut down in March 2007 due to issues with the building's infrastructure.
Habitat for Humanity of Bermuda aims to carry out at least 12 renovation projects annually for people in need of repairs and adaptations to their homes.
Almost all of its work is without charge and it is staffed entirely with volunteers.
Sheelagh Cooper, the charity's chairwoman, said: “Watching these young people dive in with such enthusiasm was such fun.
“We are also grateful to PartnerRe for the Dollars for Hours programme for encouraging schools like Warwick and several others to make these kind of contributions to great causes like this one.”