School greenhouse stolen

Arroyos del Norte Elementary kids will start classes without their plants

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 7/2/19

Teachers at Arroyos del Norte will have to rewrite the coming academic year's curriculum after the school's greenhouse went missing recently.One afternoon in late June, …

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School greenhouse stolen

Arroyos del Norte Elementary kids will start classes without their plants

Posted

Teachers at Arroyos del Norte will have to rewrite the coming academic year's curriculum after the school's greenhouse went missing recently.

One afternoon in late June, second-grade teacher Liz Gilroy was driving by the school and noticed her greenhouse was not visible from its usual spot. Upon further investigation, she found the building gone as if it had disappeared overnight.

"You could see it from the Hondo Seco Road and I just noticed that it wasn't there," Gilroy said.

Gilroy, who had been the primary user of the greenhouse for the past few years, said she had just been awarded a grant to expand the services of her program for this year. First- and second-grade students were able to use the greenhouse to plant various vegetables and learn about growing their own produce. Gilroy was especially proud of her most recent lettuce crop from the previous year.

The greenhouse was a small building made of pipe and plastic wrap and was dismantled with only fragments of it remaining. It used to sit in the back of the property near the school's soccer fields by the entrance to a nature trail.

"We keep all gates locked except for this one which allows community members to go in to walk on trails," said Taos superintendent Lillian Torrez. "This was so sad to see that someone would steal the children's greenhouse that they use now for the summer and throughout the year."

Now, the school will likely have to open the school year without plants in their lesson plans.

"It looks like it was an 'at night' kind of job," she said about the missing greenhouse.

Gilroy said there was no on-site security and the cameras did not cover the back of the buildings where the greenhouse was located. In addition, staff at the school was just starting to show less of a presence at the school with summer break in full swing.

According to school officials, there were no plans to move any new greenhouse to another location and the matter has been reported to the authorities.

"My heart is truly broken to think that someone felt like they could take this away from our school, from our students and from our community," Gilroy said.

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