Local News

New Braunfels Gardener Gives Special Kids a Chance to Grow

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Two years ago, Master Gardener Dan Krueger was working in a rose garden at the Conservation Plaza in New Braunfels as he often did. He had no idea that he was about to impact the lives of some special students in a big way.

While he was working, Randy Horadam strolled by with a group of kids from Life Bridges Transition Program. Life Bridges Transition Program teaches special needs students between the ages of 18 to 22 life skills and vocational skills essential for the kids to live as successful independent adults. The program also gives students a good dose of information on living a healthy lifestyle.


Photo: Courtesy of Dan Krueger

The group spotted Krueger knee deep in the rose bushes, and Horadam asked Krueger if they might be able to lend him a hand. Krueger says, “I told him roses have some serious thorns and suggested that he let me work on something for them.” And thus, the seed was planted.

The Conservation Plaza created by the New Braunfels Conservation Society is home to a 3.5-acre site comprised of 18 buildings from the city’s past, including a one-room limestone schoolhouse, a saloon, and a working old-fashioned barbershop. Visitors to the plaza can travel back in time and tour a slice of New Braunfels’ past.

Krueger soon came up with a plan. He decided to build a small raised vegetable garden with the kids. The kids could learn about planting and maintaining a garden. After the conservation board approved the plan, Krueger took the idea to Horadam who became excited about the project.

Photo: Dan Krueger, Master Gardener, and Life Bridges Students. Courtesy of Dan Krueger

The Moehring-Blank house, a traditional German farmhouse on the property, seemed the perfect home for the backyard garden. The students of the Life Bridges program participated in all phases of the garden. They added soil and planted radishes, carrots, onions, and lettuce.

One day Krueger, who is also heavily involved with the Wurstfest Association, showed up at the garden dressed in full Wurstfest regalia. The kids loved the outfit and learning about the German settlers. Sparked by the kids’ enthusiasm, Krueger decided to pay homage to the city’s heritage and created signs for the garden in German.

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