Whew! What an incredibly busy fall we’ve had! It all started with a work party back on September 10th. The crew was small but much was accomplished. In the Rain Garden, eight new shrubs were planted (to replace ones that had failed) and purple loosestrife and red (swamp) maple were removed. I would like to give kudos to Skillin parent Frank Lorello for working all day with my husband Conrad; they put a new layer of decking on the Nature Trail boardwalk. It looks fabulous!
After School Garden Club started up at the end of September. The enthusiasm of this group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders was unflagging. They turned compost, pulled weeds, pruned shrubs, cut back perennials, collected litter, dug out red maple, planted bulbs… A good time was had by all! Many, many thanks to all the Skillin staff members who helped to run Garden Club.
Finally, on Wednesday, October 19th, we had our 5th annual Ecology Day. The Learning Gardens Committee and the We Can Committee worked together once again to organize the activities and volunteers. Students spent the day exploring the monarch butterfly life cycle and migration to Mexico, learned a bit about leaf structure and created beautiful leaf rubbings, and experienced “Earth Yoga” on the boardwalk (until the rain forced us all to move inside!). The phrase I heard most throughout the day was, “This is awesome!” I heartily agree. It was awesome, and very gratifying.
The days grow shorter now. I just switched on the grow light in my classroom and placed all the cuttings we have started underneath. Gardening will have to continue indoors for the time being. Messing about with plants is such an instant stress reliever; I thoroughly recommend it. Get those amaryllis and paper white bulbs started (and send some in to your child’s classroom!) – they will add much cheer in the months ahead.
Many thanks for all your support of the Learning Gardens Project, and please let me know if you would like to join the committee or just be added to the “occasional volunteer” list. Your help will be most welcomed.
1st Grade Teacher
Coordinator of the Learning Gardens Project