Puckett High School (Rankin County School District) - "Gardens of Puckett" school and community beautification initiative

Partners: TempStaff, People’s Bank, Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Keep the Rez Beautiful, Woodmen of the World, Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association, Puckett Industries, Lowe's, The Town of Puckett, Rankin County Board of Supervisors, Mississippi Watercolor Society, Wal-Mart, Rivers Plant Farm, The Marble Place, The Scott Miracle Grow Company, Medical Assurance of Mississippi, Lakeland Yard and Garden, City of Flowood landscape engineer, Shelia Downs, Lana Sturgon, Dr. Milton Matthews, Linda Dees, Cathy Allen, Dr. Tom Burnham, Prentiss Calhoun, Bob Stribling, Samantha Moore, Susan Wellington, Robert Means, Bro. TJ Bates, Lowe’s Heroes, Rhonda Rivers and Joy Rivers 

Volunteers: 18
Partnership duration: 6 years 

The Gardens of Puckett was the first of many student-led projects to improve the aesthetics and sense of ownership on campus. Under the direction of art teacher Chuck Rhoads, students formed a committee to plan and design solutions with local school administration. Once plans were approved, students put their art skills to work, designing the garden's layout, preparing the site and "painting" with plants. Through the years, the gardens have expanded from a small 6' x 80' garden to two gardens covering more than an acre. Students solved a drainage problem by installing a man-made creek and also built a water fountain from recycled materials. 


  • Cross-campus collaboration to design and build gardens
  • Creation of Military Memorial Garden to honor local veterans
  • Veteran's Day event


  • Increased environmental awareness
  • 3,000 volunteer hours donated by community
  • Art students assist with other community beautification projects