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Kunisawa Garden Renovated, Honoring Legacy

One of the most inviting areas at CCHS is the Henry Kunisawa Garden, which is located in the middle of campus, by the gymnasium. The garden has been a popular spot for students to eat lunch, and it is also where the Green Thumbs Club hosts its weekly meetings.

 

Unknown to many students, Culver City High School was built on land once owned by the Kunisawa family, a Japanese-American family that lived in Culver City for many years. They were one of thousands of Japanese and Japanese-American families that were sent to internment camps during World War II. The Kunisawas returned to Culver City at the end of the war, and CCHS was built on their land a few years later. To honor the family’s legacy, the garden is named after them.

 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, weeds began growing in the garden and it fell into disarray, as there was no one on campus to take care of it during distance learning. The garden was eventually closed and renovations began over the summer of 2022 to restore it. The garden officially reopened during the second semester of the 2022-2023 school year, following delays in the installation of an irrigation system and furniture, and is now open once again to students.

 

The Green Thumbs club hosted a Community Garden Day on Saturday, Nov. 4th to invite students, staff and community members to learn gardening techniques and to help with much-needed maintenance. Two local Master Gardeners, Silvia Yoshimizu-Yee and Michelle Weiner, led a seed starting activity and demonstrated proper fruit tree trimming. In addition, participants helped to pull weeds, cut back bushes, and remove unwanted vegetation in the garden, ultimately filling an entire dumpster with cuttings. In all, there were 21 participants, including students, parents, community members, and faculty. 

 

“I want people to know that this garden is here for everyone, not just our club,” said Mrs. Penny Marino, the advisor of the Green Thumbs Club and the organizer of the event. “If people feel some ownership of the garden, they will respect it and help to preserve it. In return they have a beautiful space to come and enjoy the flora, the birds, and the butterflies.”

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About the Contributor
Sofia Pezo, Digital Media Editor
Hi, I'm Sofia, a CCHS senior and the Digital Media Editor for the Centaurian. This is my fourth year as a member of the Centaurian. Outside of journalism, I'm a member of AVPA Theater and the Citizens Around the World Club. I also am the Co-Engagement & Recruitment Chair and a tutor for Wise Readers to Leaders, and I enjoy reading, writing and solving Sudoku puzzles in my free time.

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