They Found Love In A Marshy Place

Crystal Patrick and Brendon Singh at the first-ever marsh panting event in 1999 and the latest in 2018. 

Crystal Patrick and Brendon Singh are married high school sweethearts who started dating when they were in 9th grade. One defining memory they shared together in high school? Getting muddy in 1999 at the first-ever Galveston Bay Foundation marsh grass planting event. Back then, it was called Marsh Bash.

“I used to skip class and go to her homeroom, and her homeroom teacher dragged us along to volunteer,” said Brendon.

They were juniors in high school at the time and they never stopped coming back. As Galveston Bay Foundation celebrated the event’s 20th year, the couple were side by side planting marsh grass for their 20th year as well.

Crystal is now a 7th grade science teacher and she loves bringing her students along for the experience.

“It’s always been an awesome experience and it’s always been something different,” she said. “Whether the ground is peanut butter and you lose your shoes multiple times, or when it’s an easy cakewalk.”

Brendon proclaims Crystal as the environmentalist of the family: she encourages them to reduce their environmental impact whether it’s through buying an electric car or installing solar panels on their home. Crystal’s encouragement helps Brendon wake up early for Marsh Mania because he knows the end result will be rewarding.

“I still hate waking up early, but I love coming out here and doing this and having fun and meeting so many new people and seeing the difference from when the marsh is not here to when it is,” he said.

He pointed to the newly-planted grass and said that while it looked spotty now, it would be amazing soon and watching the area go from “nothing to a thriving, thriving environment filled with life, birds, fish, and crabs when the grass fills in” was what it is all about.

The couple teamed up with people they’d just met that day and continued planting until every last stem of grass was in the ground.

“It’s a very rewarding experience,” agreed Crystal. “I keep coming back because I enjoy doing this and you can actually see the good results.”

In 2018, 200 volunteers planted marsh grass on nearly one acre at sites in Galveston, Anahuac and Texas City – for a total of 210 acres planted since that first Marsh Mania Crystal and Brendon attended in 1999.

Interested in volunteering? Sign up for Marsh Mania 2019!