The new Laramie High School is a great addition to the community and one man hopes his donation to the city will make the road to the school more scenic.
Boulder Drive, a large road split by a grassy median, directs drivers to the new Laramie High School from Grand Avenue. Currently, some grass covers the middle separator, but Raj Patel’s donation of $6,000 to the city will lead to a landscaped drive instead of the more barren view it is today.
“I knew that area is bare in the first place,” Patel said. “That’s why I suggested it. All the parks have plenty of trees.”
Patel graduated from the University of Wyoming in May and had a large graduation party.
“When my family gets money at a graduation, we normally send it back,” he said. “That’s just how our family is. But some people aren’t too happy about that, so I wanted to give it back to a better cause.”
Few donations are made to the city when compared with nonprofit organizations in the area.
“You never hear of people donating anything to the city,” Patel said. “If I would have donated to a nonprofit, I wouldn’t know 100 percent where my donation is going. With this, I know where every cent of my money is going.”
Patel got in touch with city of Laramie Arborist Randy Overstreet to help with the specifics.
“I was astonished that he contacted us with that amount of funding,” Overstreet said. “I was really pleased. This is a tremendous gift not just for the city but all of the citizens as well.”
The city would have eventually placed landscaping and trees in the area, Overstreet said this allows for everything and more.
“There will be 38 trees and 156 shrubs,” he said.
The trees, ranging from crab apple trees to elms, all relate to the focus on maroon and gold — the Laramie High School colors.
Overstreet also got some help from the resident assistants from the University of Wyoming.
“I was working with a graduate students who did his thesis on trees in Laramie,” he said. “It came up in conversation that the RAs in the University of Wyoming are looking for a community service project.”
Patel’s father Manmohan Patel also donated to the city — the trees around the retaining pond at the intersection of 30th and Reynolds streets were donated by Manmohan and his neighbors.
“He’s really excited (about my donation),” Raj Patel said. “I’m honoring it to my grandparents.”
Volunteers for Community Service Day on Saturday can take part in completing the landscaping with mulch, rocks and other finishing touches. The event is from 7:30 a.m.-noon at the new Laramie High School.