A Garden is Forever

By Dr. Dierolf, Director of Springall Academy



O’Brien’s pub is where acquaintances become friends and friends become family. So when John “Spanky” Hanson, a friend of O’Briens and all it’s patrons, passed away, the owners, Tom and Lindsey Nickel, wanted to do something that would keep John’s memory alive for years to come.  In talking with John’s family, they remembered how much John loved gardening and giving back to others. Mrs. Nickel called Springall Academy to ask about opportunities in the San Carlos Community Garden.

This conversation was a win-win. The patrons of O’Briens are a generous bunch of people and the community garden could always use support. It was done, the Nickels decided to do a fundraiser on John’s behalf for the San Carlos Community Garden. In one night, they raised over $1200 for our garden project.  I had the opportunity to be there night of the fundraiser. I heard great stories of how John made a difference in the lives of others. His daughter told me, “My dad will love this. He loved to garden. And I can’t wait to see it.”  The next step was simple, how could they best use the donation in honor of John?  After looking at the garden design (donated by professional landscape architect, George Mercer) they asked about the native garden. The native garden section includes the bridge that goes over the dry riverbed, a variety of native plants and benches for that area. It seem right that it be near the school’s garden beds as they are happy to be connected with Springall Academy as well. 

Thank you to the Nickels and the patrons of O’Briens Pub in Clairemont for their generous donation and support. We know you will all miss John, aka “Spanky,” but know that his name will always be remembered in the San Carlos Community Garden. 

If you, or someone you know is interested in making a donation of any kind to the San Carlos Community Garden, please send an email to info@sancarloscommunitygarden.com (subject: DONATION).  

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