The day started with treats from nearby Central Bakery, followed by a gathering around the campfire where students heard the words of Maria Montessori, the poetry of Wendell Berry, and the story of Japhet Creek from its days as Karankawa land to its current role as a natural refuge within the bustling city of Houston.
The high school students gave tours of the creek, talked about their environmental work, and gave an aerial view of the property with a live drone demonstration. This all-around inspiring morning filled with sunshine, tranquility, and storytelling ended with a hot bowl of chili around the fire.
The work at Japhet Creek this week included planting the gardens, starting seeds, tending the chickens, preparing space for goats, constructing planting tools, picking ripe fruit and identifying trees in the orchard with the help of Jim Ohmart and Eileen Hatcher, benefactors and former residents. Jim said they found the place “well organized, [with] great improvements, kids all working on wonderful projects.” He found the students to be “smart, attentive and interested.” Jim said he and Eileen felt good about their decision to give St. Catherine’s the opportunity to have a space to experience environmental and sustainable energy. “We got to see the place being used as we dreamed!”