When Garden Elementary students return from their March spring break, they’ll be treated to a surprise that will rock their world: a professionally designed rock garden donated by ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design.
Ever since the Venice school created its own “Venice Rocks” campaign (modeled after The Kindness Rocks Project launched nationwide), Art Teacher Joanna Davis wanted to create a special space to showcase the students’ hand-painted rocks. When ArtisTree employees read about the project, they met with Principal Amy Archer and offered assistance in creating a rock garden.
A few weeks later, and after consulting several times with Archer and Davis, ArtisTree General Manager Joe Mantkowski and Assistant Landscape Designer Amy Crutcher presented a landscape plan complete with lush tropical plantings, cap rock boulder, white river rock and artificial turf.
“Our goal was to create a fun, inviting space that would be kid-friendly and low maintenance,” said Mantkowski. “We purposely stayed with neutral hardscapes and lots of greenery in different textures so that the kids’ painted rocks would really stand out.”
Interestingly, Mantkowski attended Garden Elementary and had not visited the school since he was a little boy. “Seeing some of my teachers and walking the grounds definitely brought back some memories,” he said. “Having this opportunity to transform the vacant space outside the art room is really something special.”
Students got a sneak peek at ArtisTree’s design plan during a Channel 10 News filming showcasing Garden as “School of the Week.” Mantkowski and Crutcher brought extra blank plans so youngsters could create their own garden visions.
“It was amazing how excited the kids got to create something of their very own,” said Crutcher. “I hope they will be just as excited when they see the real thing.”
Founded in 1990, ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design specializes in planned community/commercial maintenance and landscape design/installation. Services include community maintenance, pest control, irrigation, tree service, landscape design and installation, hardscape installation and landscape lighting. ArtisTree is a privately held, nationally ranked company headquartered in Venice, FL, serving Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties.