The City of Garden Ridge, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, is about to transform the iconic water tower in the heart of the city into a howling one.
Since Davenport High School moved just outside the city limits, Garden Ridge has gone full wolf and adopted a mascot as part of the city’s identity.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for our local schools to open,” said Garden Ridge Mayor Rob Erickson. “We were really excited about the opening of Danville Middle School, but we were just so excited about Davenport High School…we totally embraced it.”
To honor the pride of the city’s schools, Garden Ridge plans to commemorate the wolves on the water tower and light it up at night to let passers-by know the wolves have won again.
Starting with a neutral white light, the color changes to maroon to celebrate the school’s achievements in athletics, arts, academics, etc.
“We’re really trying to show people, ‘Hey, here we are.’ This is Garden Ridge,” Erickson said. “We have been hiding for a long time, but no more, we want to show our strength in our team, academic team, band, drama, theater, football, etc. We accept children , we want to embrace the community.”
In June 2021, Davenport Athletic Coordinator James Zimmerhansel approached the mayor with the idea of using water towers to raise spirits in schools. Ericsson was thrilled.
When the summer of 2021 arrived, Ericsson submitted it to the city council. They embraced the idea with open arms and set out to make it a reality.
With each additional school, Garden Ridge residents have shown support at each step. This latest project is no exception.
In the fall, the school’s Homecoming Parade draws large crowds, and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony has seen the Garden Ridge Elementary School Choir and the Davenport High School Jazz Ensemble ring out on the festive occasion.
“It’s been fun to see the community grow and come together,” says Erickson. “Wolf Nation is part of it…and Davenport America.”
The school is only a few years old, but the wolf community has a lot to be proud of.
This year, Davenport’s college football team made the playoffs, the girls’ volleyball team won the regional title, and the high school band placed 7th in the 4A UIL State Marching Band Contest.
The city’s coat of arms will remain on the water tower, but once the wolf addition is complete, it will face the stadium as a shining beacon of school pride and Garden Ridge pride.
“You can put a wolf’s head up there and light it up…and you can put it on city grounds. It’s now part of Garden Ridge’s identity — Wolves Nation,” Erickson said. I got
Financing the project was no easy task for the city to fit the bill.
With the help of the school’s Athletic Booster Club, the city launched a GoFundMe campaign last summer that raised just under $5,000.
Time eventually ran out, the page was closed within a tight time limit, and the funds raised were refunded to donors leaving the city to start from scratch.
The city has since relaunched its GoFundMe page to reach its $15,000 goal. All in all, the project will cost about $30,000.
Once the city receives the funding needed to bring the wolf to life, the project will take about one to two weeks to complete.
To contribute to the project, please visit https://gofund.me/d9cc06a7.