The Jamie Gardener Garden Classroom provides hands-on experiential learning opportunities focused in science, environmental studies, arts, humanities, health and nutrition, and community service. The 10,000 square foot garden includes 10 planting beds of assorted vegetation (Medicinal Garden; Welcome Garden; Artist Garden; Kitchen Garden; and Lower, Middle and Upper School Dynamic & Perennial Gardens), fruit trees, shrubs, brick and gravel walkways, a grass amphitheater, a Zen garden, and an irrigation system. Work to maintain the Garden Classroom is provided by volunteer students, teachers, and parents.
The Garden Classroom is an important extension of the classroom and a valuable teaching tool. Whether students learn some of the more obvious lessons of sustainability and gardening, or use this unique space to learn how to calculate square footage in Middle School math, our faculty and students continue to find new and interesting ways to learn.
2015-2016 Garden Classroom Projects
- Preschool children plant and nurture their own garden, which they showcase at Garden Night.
- The K-2 crew harvest pumpkin seeds in the fall and plant them in the spring in indoor greenhouses. They then transfer the seedlings into the Garden Classroom.
- Third grade students designed and implemented a group of raised bed gardens near the Lower School playground that are growing a variety of plants and herbs.
- The fourth grade planted a three sister’s garden and graders harvested corn and beans. The students dry the corn and beans and store them for spring planting. They also grind some of the corn into meal and research uses for the corn cobs and husks. The educational goal is to understand the importance of natural resources, especially corn, to the original American colonists and Native Americans.
- The fifth grade class, along with K-2 students, worked with Lower School science teacher Eric Wyzga to design and build a Zen Garden to provide a space where students can practice mindfulness.
- Middle School students work the Garden-to-Table theme with science teacher Blue Wheeler, growing kale and lettuce in their raised beds. What they grow is harvested and used by the dining service staff in the cafeteria.
- In the Upper School, students in Rob Lee’s history class clear and “protect” a pie shaped section of the Garden Classroom for spring bulb planting.
- The dining service staff composts throughout the year and shares details with the students about food waste.
- This fall we will fertilize and turn the Kitchen Garden and develop a plan for protective fencing. Our rabbit and deer friends on campus make quick work of vegetable and tomato plants and once that can be remedied the garden harvest will surely increase dramatically.
Middle School science teacher Blue Wheeler produced this time-lapse video of his students building raised beds for the Garden Classroom.
If you would like to volunteer your time to help with the development or maintenance of the garden, please contact Lisa Reimer, Garden Coordinator.