Vandals Strike Children's Garden at ENMU Again

Vandals have decimated the Child Development Center’s garden at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, again.  In 2014, vandals destroyed the CDC pumpkin patch.

The 16 CDC children, ages 3 and 4, had planted green bean, peas and squash seeds in the CDC garden before leaving for a break between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of summer school on June 5.

Staff had monitored the plants growing to between 8-10 inches.  When they were ready to take the children out yesterday, June 5, to tend to the plants, they discovered that most of the approximately 25 plants had been stolen.

The only survivors were an overlooked squash plant on the side, and a couple of heavily damaged bean plants barely clinging to life.

The seeds came from a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, according to Lara Vaughan, CDC director.

“When I first saw that the plants were missing, I couldn’t believe it,” said Vaughan.  “I thought, ‘Who would do that to children and violate their innocence that way?’

“It’s not just losing a plant, the damage affects the children’s joy and trust in others.  It also detracts from their learning and that of the ENMU students who work with them — not to mention a waste of the salaries of the staff who worked with the children to plant the seeds.

“I wish the vandals would think about their actions.  It’s beyond a prank.  It hurts a lot of people.”

For more information, call Vaughn at 575-562-2805 or email lara.vaughan@enmu.edu.


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