Greatwood - August 2022

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Greatwood AUGUST 2022

monthly

A publication of the




Contents & Staff August 2022

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FEATURE | Fort Bend Hope

continues its mission of educating the community through enriching programs.

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TALK OF THE TOWN | THE

Sugar Land Town Square is recognized as a Top Public Space.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT |

Auditions are open for the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas.

CHAIRMAN, EDITOR & PUBLISHER Clyde King cking@hartmannews.com MANAGING EDITOR Marquita Griffin mgriffin@fbherald.com ADVERTISING Stefanie Bartlett sbartlett@fbherald.com

Ruby Polichino ruby@fbherald.com WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Marquita Griffin Scott Reese Willey GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Melinda Maya mmaya@fbherald.com Rachel Cavazos rcavazos@fbherald.com

TO ADVERTISE If you are interested in advertising in the Greatwood Monthly, please call 281-342-4474 and ask for Stefanie Bartlett or Ruby Polichino. We’ll be happy to send rates, and deadline information to you. PHOTO & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS We are looking for fresh story ideas and enjoy publishing your articles in the West Fort Bend Living. If you have an story idea or photo to publish please send your information to mgriffin@fbherald.com with “West Fort Bend Living” in the subject line. ©2022 Greatwood Monthly. All Rights Reserved. Greatwood Monthly is a sister publication of Fulshear Living Monthly, West Fort Bend Living Monthly, Pecan Grove Monthly and is a publication of the Fort Bend Herald. Our publishing headquarters is 1902 S. Fourth Street, Rosenberg Texas 77471.

Martha Urbanowicz

832-444-3037 marthaurbanowicz@yahoo.com

Ken, Martha, Robbie, Carrie, & Lisa

The Urban Family Team esT. 1993

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Greatwood Monthly


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The "Fort Bend Hope Tree"

From left Carlos Nunez, Ariana Garza, Mary Helen Yates, and Maddison Cheng read during summer camp.

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Greatwood Monthly


Don Storey teaching citizenship and helping Clara Students from Level 1&2 completing Nunez. homework.

Guillermina Figeroa and Jasleene Rivera cutting tomatoes with Ms. Lynett for salsa during Cooking Club.

Justin Barber teaching students about music during music week.

Justin Barber teaching students about music during music week.

Adam Yates playing chess with Guillermina Figeroa, Derrick Summy, and Danion Hilliard in Chess Club.

FORT BEND HOPE | fortbendhope.org @FortBendHopeCommunityCenter

To advertise, call 281-342-4474

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Hometown Happenings

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he Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association designated the Sugar Land Town Square plaza as a Great Public Space as part of the 2022 Great Places in Texas program. With this recognition, Sugar Land Town Square plaza joins a list of other local iconic public spaces such as Discovery Green and Buffalo Bayou that were recognized in the past. The APA’s competitive selection process evaluated destinations based on a variety of planning factors including design, functionality, sustainability, character, quality and community participation. The Sugar Land Town Square plaza was ultimately recognized as an example of planning excellence, hailing the city’s leadership and community partnerships. “We’re honored to receive this designation from the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association and proud to see Sugar Land acknowledged as a leader within our state,” said City Planner Ruth Lohmer. “Sugar Land Town Square Plaza is at the center of one of our community’s great assets, Town Square, one of the many amenities that makes our city a great place to live, work and play. Having this robust, enjoyable space in Sugar Land furthers its diverse economy, enhancing the quality of life for residents.” Recent improvements to Sugar Land Town Square by Lionstone with visioning support by Rebees included an increase in shade and canopy coverage as well as casual outdoor seating space coupled with an additional green area for guests to enjoy year-round. The first waves of upgrades to Sugar Land Town Square include revamped landscaping, fresh branding and signage, re-faced tenant storefronts, innovative event programming and an array of exciting new food and beverage, retail and entertainment concepts-including the Department of Wonder. “The designation as a Great Public Space in Texas truly signifies the decades-long diligence and partnership with city officials in creating a space that builds community, supports local businesses and has become iconic in the region,” said Wende Buckley, a principal with Planned

Community Developers (PCD). PCD were the original developers of Sugar Land Town Square and continue today as the lead for the project in property management and office leasing and programming for activities in the plaza. The city is continuously working with local and regional business partners to create mixed-use, walkable spaces like Sugar Land Town Square where businesses, residents and tourists can enjoy unique civic, corporate, residential and retail offerings. “Our community is very proud to receive this designation as a Great Public Space,” said Mayor Joe R. Zimmerman. “This recognition confirms that Sugar Land is the place to live, work, play and shop because we work every day to build a better community for all.”

Talk of the Town

Sugar Land Town Square Plaza recognized as a Top Public Space in Texas

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At Greatwood Veterinary Hospital, we are dedicated to providing excellent and compassionate care for your furry, family friends. We offer full veterinary services in our new, spacious 6,500 square foot facility. Our experienced and caring veterinarians and staff strive to provide the best quality care available for your pets, with an emphasis on client education and an understanding of your pet’s specific needs. We would like to be partners with you in ensuring your pet’s good health and well-being. In addition to full medical, surgical, and dental veterinary care, we also offer boarding, grooming, and cremation services. Greatwood Veterinary Hospital has been providing affordable and quality veterinary care to the Fort Bend area for over 15 years. It is our hope that we can meet all your animal’s health care needs with our warm, friendly, and knowledgeable services. To make an appointment for your pet or for more information, please call us at (281) 342-7770 or visit us at 401 Crabb River Road in Richmond. To advertise, call 281-342-4474

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Develop discipline and character at Premier Martial Arts by MARQUITA GRIFFIN | mgriffin@fbherald.com

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artial Arts is a sport the school’s nucleus. long revered by people “We are focused on developof all abilities, health ing good human beings as oplevels, backgrounds, and culposed to just teaching punching tures and has found itself the and kicking,” said Davis. “Every focal point of creative works in school will teach the punching films, comics, and even music. and the kicking, but at Premier But the sport far exceeds its Martial Arts, we have a heavy entertaining and adrenaline-inemphasis on character. And this ducing elements. character development aspect is For scores of martial arts stubuilt into the program.” dents, the sport enhances their As an example, he explained skills of strength, discipline, and the requirements to achieve a focus, all of which can be adblack belt. vantageous for conflict, compeFor the duration of the lessons, tition, and even health goals. the students are encouraged to Premier Martial Arts in Rosenmaintain honor roll grades, pass berg, currently the largest martheir classes and demonstrate tial arts franchise in the world, discipline and focus at school, elevates the sport to another The Premier Martial Arts Rosenberg Team: From left, back row: Heidi Fritsche, Business at home, and in the martial arts Manager and Co-owner; Tyler Medina, Instructor; Krystin Hillis, Front Desk/Customer Service; level, though, said franchise and front row: Joseph Ventura, Instructor; Zane Davis, Assistant Instructor; Jasmine Sawyer, school. owner Master Chris Davis, who Instructor and Chris Davis, Owner and Head Instructor. They must also complete comhas been training in martial arts munity service hours and provide for more than two decades. a letter of recommendation from a Davis, who owns the Rosenberg and Pearland, Texas locations of Prenon-family member. mier Martial Arts, said the martial arts school isn’t “a belt factory,” and the The students earn patches as they complete requirements, and those skills taught easily translate to a student’s daily living. patches, Davis said, “signify they achieved those goals.” While earning a black belt is the goal of many a young student, at PreMartial arts, especially for children, provides beneficial exercise — “For mier Martial Arts, reaching that level means more than achieving physical at least an hour a day, it gets them moving and improving their immune accomplishments; it signifies character growth, which Davis stressed, is system,” Davis said — and skills necessary for focusing regularly.

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“Martial arts is one of the best ways to teach kids discipline and concentration.” LONGTIME SERVING Although Premier Martial Arts recently moved to the Summer Lakes Center on Minonite Road (FM 2977) in Rosenberg into a state-of-the-art facility with new classrooms, the school has served the area for 15 years. “We’ve been in the area for a long time, but people think we’re brand new,” he said with a light laugh. “Our facility is new but we aren’t.” This longstanding franchise benefits adults as well, considering it also offers classes for the adult population. Evaluations can start at three years old and cover multiple age groups. “I like to say we teach ages 4 to 104,” Davis said. Another winning attribute of Premier Martial Arts in Rosenberg is the design of its new facility, which allows two classes to run simultaneously — a massive appeal to those who want to learn martial arts as a family. “We’re great for families, and we have 10 to 12 families who train together,” Davis said. “The kids can have class on one side and the parents can have their class on the other side which cuts down the time spent here. It allows more family time at home.” Beyond character development and showcasing its new facility, Premier Martial Arts also strives to accommodate students who may need modifications for physical issues. “Anyone of any fitness level can join the program,” he said, sharing that he has students who are deaf, wheelchair-bound, or have prosthetic limbs. He added that the martial arts school also instructs high-functioning students with autism. “We will modify the program because the point is for those people who want to, to come in and do the training.” He said there are cases where Premier Martial Arts cannot make adaptations because of safety concerns for the student, but those instances are rare. “I can only think of two out of thousands that we had to turn away in the past five to six years, and it was sad when that happened. But we will be upfront if we can’t meet the modification requirements.” “But,” he accentuated, “We try to.”

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ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY Premier Martial Arts in Rosenberg features four instructors, including Davis, and currently teaches around 200 students. He hopes to reach at least 350 students at the Rosenberg location, and Davis believes through engaging and genuine interaction with the community, the school can meet that objective. “Word of mouth is the best way to reach people,” he said, explaining why Premier Martial Arts offers a free introductory class and a referral program. The introductory class “is a one-on-one lesson with an instructor where you can get all your questions answered and see which program is the right fit without the pressure of being in a class,” he explained. The referral program is open to current students who can receive a $100 cash reward if they bring in a friend who signs up. “The way I see it, is if you are having a good time as a student, and you know your friends will have a good time, we want encourage you to bring them.” Another unique way Premier Martial Arts engages with the community is through its birthday party package that parents can purchase for current students or children who may find martial arts appealing. At the birthday party, the celebrated child receives a free karate uniform, a birthday black belt to wear for the day, age-appropriate games, and the chance to break a board in front of the class. The experience, Davis said, is a fun way to introduce or encourage participation in martial arts across age groups. Premier Martial Arts also offers discounts for law enforcement and active military. All these efforts are to let the Fort Bend community know the caliber of the martial arts school. “We want to continue growing,” Davis said. “And we also want everyone to know we strive to be the premier martial arts school for this community.” For more information about Premier Martial Arts, visit premiermartialarts. com/rosenberg, email info@pmarosenberg.com or call 281-239-6401. Follow its Facebook page @PremierMartialArtsRosenberg.

Continued on page 18

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Arts & Entertainment

THE FORT BEND BOYS CHOIR EMBRACES NEW SEASON, ENCOURAGES AUDITIONS

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s the upcoming school year nears, the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas is reminding parents about openings in its organization where it offers first-class vocal training for boys starting at 6 years old. This is the 41st season for the Emmy-nominated boys choir which continues to recruit local singing talent and is currently focused on building its Music Magic class, intended for boys who are six or seven years old. No audition is necessary for Music Magic, an eight-week music enrichment class that meets every Tuesday from 6:30-7:15 p.m., starting in October. The Fort Bend Boys Choir is also holding auditions by appointment for their upcoming 2022-2023 performance season Photo by Terri Cannon Photography | starting in August. Joshua Nathan and Connor Li. Auditions are open to Fort Bend County and the Greater Houston area. The organization said is “looking for [the] potential of accomplishment, not level of accomplishment,” stressing prior experience isn’t necessary. The performance choir vocal music education program is designed for boys with unchanged voices. And in addition to a love of music and singing, interested choir boys should be at least eight years old by this fall or entering third grade. This program meets once a week on Thursday evenings. Noting the vaccination rates and masks no longer deemed a requirement, “there has never been a better time to audition,” the choir stated in a release. This organization continues to maintain certain safety protocols to ensure good health including: routine hand sanitizing, three feet of distance between each chorister, large and ventilated rehearsal rooms, and the option of wearing a mask based on comfort level. In its 2009 Chorus Impact Study, the Chorus America reported individuals who sing with a chorus develop qualities that can lead to a successful life. “For young choirboys in the Fort Bend Boys Choir, this translates into greater academic success, fostering a sense of community for boys as well as enhancing social skills and poise,” the organization stated, highlighting additional benefits like increased self-confidence and self-discipline, better time management skills, a boost in memory skills, the building of new friendships, and good citizenship. Request an audition by visiting the choir’s audition webpage at www.fbbctx.org or calling 281-240-3800.

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UNIVERSITY BRANCH LIBRARY ANNOUNCES FALL SCHEDULE

ort Bend County Libraries’ University Branch Library, 14010 University Blvd in Sugar Land, on the UH campus, presents a variety of free children’s programs, adult computer classes, book clubs, and special programs for people of all ages each month. All programs are free and open to the public. For more information, see the Fort Bend County Libraries website at www.fortbend.lib.tx.us, or call the University Branch Library at 281-633-5100 or the library system’s Communications Office at 281-633-4734. CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS Toddler Time will be held Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. This activity offers caregiver/child activities, stories and songs for older babies, from 1 to 3 years of age. This activity will not take place on Aug. 2, 3, 9, or 10. Preschool Story Time will be held Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. This activity presents stories, movies, and age-appropriate craft activities for children 3 to 6 years of age. This activity will not take place on Aug. 4 or 11. The library notes it is unable to accommodate daycares and school groups at these activities. YOUNG ADULT PROGRAMS YA Craft: Calming Glitter Jars: Thursday, Aug. 4, 2-3 p.m. in Meeting Room 2. Teens entering grades 9 through 12 will kick off the new school year by making this fun, relaxing craft. ADULT PROGRAMS Craft Squad Social: Fridays, Aug.5, 12, 19, 26, 2-4 p.m. in Meeting Room 1. People who enjoy crafts are invited to join the “Craft Squad,” where they can make new crafty friends, learn a new craft or two, and share tips, tricks, and resources with fellow crafters. At weekly Craft Squad Socials, crafters can bring their own craft and materials to work on while networking with other crafters. The Craft Squad is suitable for adults and older teens only. University Branch Book Club: Wednesday, Aug. 10, 6 p.m. in Meeting Room 2. The book to be discussed is Circe, a novel written by Madeline Miller. This title is available in print, audio, and digitally as an ebook and e-audiobook on OverDrive; call the library to check availability of additional print copies. This book club meets on the second Wednesday of every month. New members invited to attend. Culinary Book Club: Wednesday, Aug. 17; 1:30 p.m in Meeting Room 1. This month, the theme is “Dog Days of Summer,” and participants will talk about hot dogs! Because of health precautions, participants will not be bringing food this month. The Culinary Book Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month, and different cooking genres are explored each month. Cooking enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels – from beginners to advanced -- are invited to join. Share tips, get ideas, and enjoy the camaraderie of other individuals who have an interest in cooking and good cuisine! Online Podcast Club: Thursday, Aug. 18, 6 p.m. This videoconference will be live-streamed in real time via Webex; it will not be in person at the library. Similar to a book club, the Podcast Club is a monthly club for people who enjoy listening to podcasts on a variety of subjects. Each month, a theme will be selected, along with a short list of podcast episodes. Listeners will meet online to discuss the podcasts they have listened to and the themes within them. In August, the theme is “The Great Outdoors.” Registration is required; a link to the webinar will be emailed to all who register on FBCL’s online calendar of Virtual events, or by calling the library.


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Gardening

What is Eating My Plants?

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By Chris Taylor | Fort Bend County Master Gardener

hat is eating my plants? This is a somewhat ing smells – dried sulfur, onion, garlic, red pepper, open-ended question that has many differand even, shavings of Irish Springs soap placed in ent possibilities. From insects to birds to small bags throughout the garden. These should be animals, there is a wide range of critters that feast on sprinkled throughout the garden. our plants. But, perhaps one of the most pervasive • Commercial products are available as well. They of these critters is the Cottontail rabbit. In my subdiare often sold as Rabbit and Deer Repellent. vision, we have a seemingly steady crop of rabbits • Eliminate all possible hiding places for them. in our area at all times. Since they are voracious eatRabbits need shelter such as brush piles, burrows ers and can do extensive damage to our gardens or bushes in order to hide from predators. Our area and flowerbeds, I would like to address some of the is frequented by hawks looking for rabbits and other ways in which to limit the damage. Completely elim- Figure 1 | A clean-cut Lantana stem. (Photo small prey. Removing their hiding places may force by C. Taylor.) inating their presence is a very tough task. them to go to other areas. Cottontails have their signature cotton ball for a • However, the most reliable method appears to tail. They prefer an environment that provides them simply put chicken-wire fencing around your plants shelter in which to hide. They will feed on a wide variety of vegetation, to create a physical barrier between the rabbits and your plant. Several but their preference is green vegetation (new plant shoots). of my neighbors have done this and it seems to work. At the same time, Plant damage the fencing needs to be discreet. This topic is starting to become an Around my neighborhood, rabbits are usually seen eating grass, and issue for our Home Owner’s Association (HOA) and their regulations, so sometimes, plants. They have very sharp teeth, because they leave a be sure to check with them before installing any fencing. clean, sharp cut on plant stems. Figure 1 is a photo of a Lantana plant All of these are techniques that may help you to keep the rabbits from in my flowerbed. Notice the sharply cut stem. At my home, they tend to eating your plants. While we may not be able to eliminate the rabbits, we prefer my Lantana and Plumbago plants. may be able to slow them down a little! So, what can we do? Happy Gardening! I consulted the Old Farmers Almanac along with the Texas A&M Agril________________________________________________________ ife article on ways to get rid of rabbits, or perhaps, just minimize the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist damage. I refer you to this article for more details of the various things Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in educating the community using to sprinkle, spray or place in your gardens to slow the rabbits down. research-based horticultural information. For additional resources about Some of their proposed techniques seem a bit strange but may work. this month’s topic read Texas A&M AgriLife’s “Controlling Cottontail and With the frequent downpours that we have in Fort Bend County, it could Jackrabbit Damage” (agrilifeextension.tamu.edu), and be difficult to keep these applications on your plants. The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s “How to Identify and Get Rid of Rabbits” Some of their methods include: (almanac.com/pest/rabbits). • Rabbits have a keen sense of smell and appear to dislike the follow-

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Continued from page 13

Creative Learning Society kid’s drama camp allows kids to explore acting, build self esteem

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By RILEY CARROLL | rcarroll@fbherald.com

uring the current Creative Learning Society annual drama camp, kids eight through 15 years old performed episodes one through four of “The Mystery Club” written by Roz Mihalko. The week one camp covered episode one: “The Case of the Missing Camera,” taught and directed by Beth Ackerman-Ornelas, Stacy Hall and Cameron Lovelace. Ackerman-Ornelas, the owner of Creative Learning Society, has always had a passion for theater and has dedicated her time to sharing her passion with others. “Theater taught me so much as a child and I never really realized all of the lessons that I got from it; from self-confidence and leadership to learning how to work as a team to building public speaking skills, building comfort with being in front of a group, working with others [and] depending on others,” Ackerman-Ornelas said. “I have a love for theater and so I’m just trying to spread that love for the kids out in our area.” Ackerman-Ornelas’ success in spreading her interest in theater has undoubtedly rubbed off on the kids she directs. The young actors Three young actors, Zander Poe, Celeste Donis and Adrian Cantu deliver expressed enthusiasm about the their lines. adult Mystery Dinner Theater led Ackerman-Ornelas to follow a similar theme for the upcoming drama camps. “We thought it would be really cute to do something along with the genre of theater that we do for the adults in the evening,” Ackerman-Ornelas explained. “[The kids have] seen the adult murder mystery information and they’ve expressed interest so we thought it’d be really great [to perform] Mystery Club for the kids.” The 35-minute play followed the story of middle-school students forming clubs at the beginning of a school year. Meanwhile, a yearbook student’s camera was stolen. Subsequently, the students form a Mystery Club to solve the case of the stolen camera. “I was so pleased with their performance,” Ackerman-Ornelas ex-

Business

18 • Greatwood Monthly

pressed. “We had one run-through earlier today and they struggled a bit, but they really shined in the performance. I was so proud of them, I’m always like a little proud mom in the corner.” For more information about the Creative Learning Society, visit www. creativelearningsociety.com.

Portraying a fantasy character, youth actors Zander Poe and Adrian Cantu shine under the spotlight at the Agatha Theater.

Celeste Donis, Diego Donis, Nathan Martinez and Dylan Hall perform The Mystery Club by Roz Mihalko for Creative Learning Society’s week one drama camp.


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THERE’S A

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