Oakbrook Terrace school gets new look
Swartz School students get started on the landscaping project. | Photos courtesy of the Hilton Hotel
Updated: July 9, 2012 1:44AM
Angie Ross, Stella May Swartz principal called the shrubs that used to
line the front of the Oakbrook Terrace elementary school “ugly and overgrown,” and even had the
custodian rip them out.
Thanks to a generous donation, and a bit of physical labor from her second-grade
class, the school has new plants and a new look to welcome students and staff for
years to come.
Going into their eighth year of partnering together, Swartz School and the Hilton
Hotel spent a spring day beautifying the school by rolling up their sleeves and putting in
a little work on Friday morning.
The students used shovels, and their own hands, to carefully plant each shrub in
front of the school. Afterward, the Hilton staff treated the students to a cookout lunch of
burgers and hot dogs.
“I like planting out here,” said second-grader Sabrina Corso. “It was fun getting my
Staff of the Oakbrook Terrace Hilton Hotel and their landscaping team of Landscape
Concepts Management of Aurora donated their time to assist the second-grade class of
Swartz School in digging up, planting and placing mulch in front of the building.
“We wanted to do as much as we can today,” said Andy Murray of Landscape
Concepts Management. “A lot of the kids told me they had never planted before so we
tried to make if fun for them.”
Landscape Concepts Management donated more than 110 plants valued at more than $1,000 while
the Hilton Hotel provided flowers for decorating the school. The Hilton brought extra
flowers so all 54 students could take one home to mom too.
“I got to make a flower pot and decorate it,” said second-grader Grace Antar, who
planned to give the flower to her mother after school. “I liked planting with my hands and
using the shovel.”
The Hilton has a long partnership with the school and Swartz’s Earthsavers Club,
which visits the hotel frequently to help with fundraising efforts.
A thunderstorm the night before created a little mud which left the students
stomping their feet on the sidewalk to clean their shoes, but the day was a great
success for Swartz.
“It’s a little muddy, but if all we have to deal with is a little mud then we’re all good,”
said Don Hill, sales and marketing director at the Hilton. “These are terrific people to work with.”