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Generous Donation Grows a Mini Orchard at Pomeroy

October 2021 

On September 24, Pomeroy Elementary School gave a special honor to a man who represents a local Santa Clara organization called the Kiwani’s Club. Dirk Heartman is a master gardener who heard about the Open Space Authority garden grant we received, heard we have parents and staff who are passionate about gardening and wanted to donate some trees to our school. 

Heartman had a vision of creating a "mini orchard," where the school could showcase the types of trees that historically grew in this valley when it was agricultural land. He recognizes Silicon Valley was once considered the fruit basket of the world and felt that bringing a piece of that heritage to Pomeroy would be a great way to celebrate an important part of local history.

“The collaboration with Dirk and the Kiwani’s Club has been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement for the Pomeroy families and staff to keep working on Pomeroy's school garden,” said Principal Christy Chalfant. “Dirk gave us the kickstart to start thinking bigger when they donated the fruit trees, and it led to an expansion of the garden and an awareness across the school that has been truly special to witness.”

The generous donation on behalf of the Kiwani’s Club in Santa Clara has enabled the Pomeroy garden to become its own mini orchard filled with a variety of fruit trees. When the trees are in full bloom, students and staff will be able to enjoy freshly picked nectarines, peaches, apricots, pink lady apples, granny smith apples, persimmons, oranges, and lemons!

To honor Heartman’s generosity, Pomeroy presented him with a plaque that will be mounted on one of the tree beds. Big thanks to Mr. Heartman for his commitment to improving our community. 

“We feel supported and seen,” said Chalfant. “Your generosity will continue to grow with those beautiful trees and we can't wait to see the new connections that will come from them!” 

Pomeroy Students and staff