Take Two holds ribbon cutting for the Gresham Garden

Drew Butler
A Take Two student is jointed by Ardmore City Schools Superintendent Kim Holland and Director Lori Bell at the ribbon cutting of the Gresham Garden on Wednesday. The students will grow and then sell fruits and vegetables, therefore teaching them about both horticulture and entrepreneurship.

Take Two Academy students were joined by faculty, administration, school board members and donors for the ribbon cutting on the new Gresham Garden. The garden — named after professional football player Jermaine Gresham who was a major donor to the project — is housed on the school grounds and will allow the students to get their hands dirty while learning about plants.

Take Two Director Lori Bell said the garden project has been in the works for four years and was originally supposed to be built on the Ardmore High School campus.

“The initial grant was through the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation, and it was written to be placed on Ardmore High School’s campus because that’s where we were at the time,” Bell said. “It took us a couple of years and patience and understanding on behalf of the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation to hold that funding until we were moved into our new home.”

Bell said in addition to the funds provided by the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation and Gresham, other major donors were Valero, BancFirst, the United Way of Southern Oklahoma, and the Ardmore Sunrise Rotary Club.

She said the garden will provide students a way to learn not only about horticulture, but also science, math and entrepreneurship. It will also serve as an outlet for stress.

“We’ll be learning about science and horticulture and plants and how to grow them,” Bell said. “There is also the math involved with knowing how far to plant the plants apart and how much the fruit and produce weighs. Another important piece is that it will create stress relief, a reduction in aggression, and all the things that come with working with plants, nurturing them and helping them grow.”

Bell said the Gresham Garden is simply the first step in the process of bringing several new outdoor facilities to Take Two. The school is currently accepting bids for a new outdoor classroom with picnic tables and overhead protection. They are also working on securing funds to build a new outdoor fitness center.

The Gresham Garden along with all the other facilities to come will soon be surrounded by a six-foot security fence and a double gate.