BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Volunteers stayed busy Saturday morning by turning an empty outdoor space at Popp’s Ferry Elementary into a sensory garden.
The garden was a project years in the making that has finally come to life, and it all started as a sketch drawn by mom and daughter team Crystal and Lyric James.
“It was like it was an empty canvas that we could do anything we wanted with," said Crystal James, administrative assistant for Popp’s Ferry. “So we sat down at the kitchen table a couple of years ago, and Lyric went through and helped me come up with kids like.”
Lyric James also added “It’s been a long time since we like went back with this project, so it’s just amazing to finally do it now."
The sensory garden was made possible through a $3,000 grant from Home Depot. Along with the help of 40 volunteers from Church of the King’s Serve Team, which is geared towards students who have autism.
“From my understanding it’s going to impact over 110 kids who call Popp’s Ferry home. said Daniyel Blankenship, volunteer outreach coordinator. "Our church is a go and do church and so it’s really a pleasure just to go out and serve the community and also just show support for those kids and their families.”
The garden featured a collection of plants and materials that are appealing to one or more of the five senses.
“Some of the biggest things that we have are tactile things for our kids to be able to play in the dirt, and learn life skills," said Crystal James. “We have lots of bright things, and things that are going to smell good, and things that are going to sound amazing.”
Additionally, Dr. Vivian Malone said she wanted the garden to be a place where student can do their extra learning.
“We just wanted to give them a place to where they can come and do their extra learning and learning to coexist with other children and just be as normal as possible." said Dr. Malone.
Volunteers from Church of the King also helped with creating birthday gifts for Popp’s Ferry students.