Buchanan's restored garden is a true 'oasis'
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Students, staff and parent volunteers spent many hours restoring a special place on the grounds of Buchanan Elementary, called the Buchanan Oasis Garden.

Principal Jon Wennstrom, who moved to Buchanan from Rosedale Elementary at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, said it was one of his goals to bring the garden back to life and to use it as an outdoor area where students and families could spend time with nature.

The space is adorned with Michigan native plants, some annual flowers and beautiful student artwork. One area, called the Collaborative Rock Spiral, is a collection of rocks that were painted by students and arranged in a spiral design on the ground, with a sign stating, “As individuals, each of us are beautiful and unique. Together, we are a masterpiece.”

With the help from parent volunteers like Todd Davis, who built the wooden benches and little bridges for the garden, the project became a reality. The school celebrated its completion during an assembly that featured students singing a special song that was written by Buchanan music teacher Sydnie Canterberry and words of praise from Mr. Wennstrom, Superintendent Andrea Oquist, teachers Mrs. Benson and Mrs. Medellin and parent volunteer Mr. Davis and PTA President Mrs. Watson.

Coming together as a new school community, following last year’s closure of Cass and Garfield elementary schools, was a theme in the remarks. The revitalized garden oasis is symbolic of the teamwork and community that exists at Buchanan Elementary.

A time capsule was buried, prior to the end of the school year, and will be opened in 2038. It contains items that include songs written by Wennstrom and Canterberry, in addition to newspaper clippings, videos and other ‘artifacts’ of today. 

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Superintendent Andrea Oquist congratulated the school on completing this special project.

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Parent volunteer Todd Davis built the benches and bridges in the garden. 

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A school-wide photo was taken from the rooftop of the school. 

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Principal Jon Wennstrom talks about the garden project.