GROUNDS HELPS REVITALIZE ELI L. WHITELEY '41 MEMORIAL PARK
Grounds Management recently partnered with Texas A&M Veterans Association on a revitalization project for the Eli L. Whiteley '41 Memorial park. In his Sociohorticulture class this fall semester, senior Homero Perez-Gomez reached out to our Grounds Department with a proposal to partner on a service learning project that would involve veterans giving some much needed care to the Eli L. Whiteley '41 Memorial Park. Eli Whiteley is a well-known name across campus. Whiteley was a cadet here at Texas A&M, where he was a member of the Headquarters Calvary. He served in the U.S. Army and received the Medal of Honor “for his exceptional bravery and valiant leadership in the savage house-to-house battle through the fortress town of Sigolsheim, France in December 1944.” Whitely was one of seven Medal of Honor recipients from Texas A&M. Not only is the park named after Whiteley but a residence hall on campus as well. He is also featured in the MSC’s Hall of Honor. Whiteley received both his Bachelor’s degree and doctorate degree from Texas A&M. He was named Professor Emeritus of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.
Perez-Gomez’s project proposal included the following goals for the memorial park: removal of the dead or dying trees, trimming of the limbs to improve aesthetics of the park (as well as plant health), applying mulch to flower and tree beds, and planting small seedlings to replace the trees being removed. Grounds donated two 30 gallon pecan trees, 6 cubic yards of mulch, 12 one gallon perennials, use of hand tools necessary for the participants to complete the work and 12 man hours. Grounds associates worked alongside members of the TAMU Veterans Association helping to prep beds, dig the tree holes, inspect the irrigation and provide technical support during the project.
Special thanks to Producer’s Coop, specifically Dr. Bill Lazenby’s donation of pecan seedlings for this project.
After the revitalization project was complete, Perez-Gomez wrote an email to our Grounds Management team, which included the following, “On behalf of the Student Veterans at Texas A&M, and myself, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to work together on this project. The success and impact this endeavor will last for years to come and hopefully serve as a foundation for future projects.”