The Gonzales Garden Club, along with St. Amant High School Agriscience and FFA Advisor Mandy Delaune and Principal Mia Edwards, gathered at the Clarion Inn last week in Gonzales for a special meeting geared towards helping the St. Amant 4-H, FFA and Agriscience classes.

The local garden club presented Delaune and Edwards with a $6,000 donation check made possible through a Great Flood of August 2016 Grant Program endowed by garden clubs across the United States.

Like other schools in the Parish, St. Amant High experienced severe flood damage in August, resulting in 18 to 24 inches of water that remained on the campus for four days. Garden and greenhouse materials such as tools were damaged and lost in the flood, Delaune said.

"It has taken years to build up a supply of tools and equipment for an entire class to work without sharing or waiting to use a tool," she said. "This grant allows us to purchase the tools so that students can maximize their time in class by having the necessary tools present. The money will be used towards new storage shed for all of our garden and greenhouse supplies."

Garden Club Grant Chairman Jamie Trisler approached Delaune to discuss St. Amant's program and what was lost and submitted the grant on behalf of the school

The grant touched on the loss of the organizations and on Deluane's efforts to make her students "responsible adults and avid gardeners." 

The 4-H and FFA hosts a yearly plant sale every spring with over 10,000 flowering, vegetable and herb plants for the public, though with the loss of their shed and tools, the sale could be in jeopardy for the coming year, read the grant. The organizations also host a community service project geared towards landscaping 16 facilitates throughout the Parish, give out backpacks containing produce and groceries to less fortunate students and families in their community and offer educational outreach to elementary students and families.

"It is awesome to have someone in our community see what we do with our students and want to reach out and help us. We are extremely appreciative of Mrs. Jamie and the Garden club for seeing the value of our classes and programs and wanting to invest in them."