Rows of plants and flowers are coming to the Hilltop Gallery property in Nogales thanks to the efforts of a crew of gallery affiliates, local volunteers and city employees who are performing landscaping and planting work on the site this week.

Cesar Lopez, a member of the gallery’s board, pointed to erosion on the side of the hill next to the gallery and said that adding vegetation would combat the process by redirecting and absorbing water flows.

Four local students – Eliany Gim, 16, of Nogales High School; Nicole Saldana, 14, of Rio Rico High School; and Sheyla Machado and Melissa Mata, both 14-year-old students at Mexicayotl Academy – volunteered to help with the project. The girls are all veterans of the Seeds/Semillas border youth group.

Erick Meza, a designer based in Tucson, helped with the plans, and Ismari Garcia, a mentor for the Seeds program, was on hand to work with the volunteers.

Lopez said that his hope is for the students to develop skills that they can use in other local projects.

The work was scheduled to be done over three days between Monday and Wednesday and the Hilltop Gallery is spending $8,000 on the project, Lopez said. The City of Nogales also donated the use of a backhoe on Monday and Tuesday, operated by Ricardo Felix of the Public Works Department.

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