City, volunteers give back to veteran community

The Lee Crossley Veterans Community is a little greener after volunteers and city departments planted trees and built a community garden for residents.

Several city departments – including the Stormwater Program, Parks & Recreation and the Fire Department – joined Girl Scout Troop 8226 to plant trees in the neighborhood.

“After the 10 trees were planted, we then joined forces with Keep Temple Beautiful & Un-included Club and started the process of creating a Healing Garden for the Veterans Community,” Temple Stormwater Specialist Amber Kelley said.

As Temple Fire & Rescue personnel doused the newly-planted trees with water, other volunteers shoveled soil into wheelbarrows and transported it to the site of the new community garden. A massive pile of boards was cut down to size to serve as the frame for the garden.

“This garden will be wheelchair accessible, have raised beds and provide our veterans with healthy eating. The Girl Scouts donated funds to help have this garden created,” Kelley said.

The trees that are dispersed throughout the neighborhood will provide shade for residents while benefiting the environment.

“Trees help slow down and temporarily store runoff and reduce pollutants by taking up nutrients and other pollutants from soils and water through their roots. They also help with erosion control,” Kelley said. “Trees can filter pollutants both out of the water that moves through their cells, and out of the air.”

For more information about the Temple Stormwater Program, visit