Hoopa High Garden Thief Strikes Again

Angel Muro stands with a new sign for the Hoopa Valley High School garden./Photo courtesy of Angel Muro

By ANGEL MURO, TRT Youth Correspondent

Once again, someone entered Hoopa High School and dug up plants and trees from the school garden. The thief knew how to avoid the cameras. The camera shows that the suspect came early in the morning one recent Sunday. The suspect dug up flowers, fruit trees and artichokes.

Some Hoopa High School students put hard work into the garden, with the help of volunteers from Tribal Civilian Community Corps (TCCC). The students were really excited about making the school a nicer area to hang out.

When the students learned about what was stolen just a week after planting, they were disappointed and upset. They put effort into the garden and other students really liked what they saw.

I am part of this Garden Project, supervised by teacher Ramona Sokolow. I feel it was messed up that someone would do that. This is not the only time someone has stolen from our garden.

According to Sokolow, someone has stolen from the garden since the beginning of its development about five years ago.

In the past, the items stolen have been: two pond pumps, bear grass plants, vegetable starts, artichokes, flowers, white sage, and trees.

The thief has also gotten into our greenhouse and has stolen pots and soil. He or she also stole beautiful rose bushes and plants from the flower boxes out front the high school.

I asked Ms. Sokolow if she thinks there is one thief or more. She said, “It’s clear that the person stealing scopes out the garden frequently, identifies specific plants to steal, then makes an action plan to return. I can’t believe someone would steal from their community and from their youth.”

If in the past couple weeks, someone has offered you a persimmon, pear, cherry, apple, or fig tree, as well as flowers and artichokes, they may have been stolen items from the high school garden. We would like to have some help in getting the stolen items back into our garden. If anybody would like to help in general with donations, we would really appreciate that as well. You can call us at 530-625-5600, extension 1031.

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