Coolidge Schoolyard Habitat Project
Habitat Meeting Agenda
March 22nd, 2017
1.) Update e-mail/contact list
2.) Establish dates for next meeting, “Gardenfest” and two planting days (Tent. April 22nd and some time in May…)
We are planning to set “Gardenfest” for June 8th with classroom or schoolwide donations for healthy juice packets and fruit for the kids to enjoy during the event.
April 22nd, we hope to host a Spring beautification event.
We are looking for mid to late May to host planting and tilling event for a vegetable/pumpkin patch behind the bike racks next to the kindergarten classrooms.
3.) Current Annual Budget: $400.00
4.) Garden Club Updates
Ms. Stark continues to host a garden club for students every Tuesday at lunch. We will create an eco-friendly craft or work outside in the habitat on garden-related projects. Please see Kellie Stark if you have questions or are interested in volunteering.
5.) Gardenfest 2017
Students will enjoy a healthy treat, some eco-games or scavenger hunt. There will also be habitat nature books to read, chalk and bubbles. Students will have an opportunity to create artwork or class gifts for the garden and enjoy observing the artwork of others. There will also be a grade level competition for most beautiful/creative garden bed design!
7.) Areas to improve
Security signs to deter theft and vandalism
More high quality signage for labeling plants
Habitat Rules posted on wall to left of Habitat doors
Additional pavers and stones to finish lining paths
More water features to attract birds and wildlife
Additional gravel for paths
Fresh mulch by sign
Water sealant on sign
Look for or remake roof cap for sign (blew off in wind storm)
Large insect cutouts? (parent volunteer may be interested in making)
Addition on”Big Hotel”, (Ms. Stark is currently building) to observe insects in natural habitats
Ordering of Monarch butterfly waystation signage (we are certified)
Update habitat display case with new photos
Complete habitat hall mural
Fix, repaint numbers on raised beds
Fix or replace trellis by door
Add shelving to tool cabinet (code is 1981)(hose key and tools inside)
Obtain second cabinet for tools
Memorial stone for Ann Kalec has been ordered and will be added soon in permanent spot with flower planting by students.
8.) Future Projects
Included in previous list
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!
Upcoming Garden/Habitat Meetings/Events
Beautification Event, Saturday, April 22nd 9-11 a.m.
Large community garden planting event, (Late May, date T.B.D.)
Gardenfest set tentatively for June 8th
Please e-mail or call Kellie Stark with any questions or concerns you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-744-2705, ext. 15629
The Coolidge Habitat/garden project has begin again for the 2016-2017 school year. Ms. Stark is running a Garden Club for Coolidge students during second recess on Tuesdays for Coolidge students. The club will meet weekly in the habitat and art room to engage in activities related to the environment, science and gardening. Parent volunteers are needed to help with this enrichment club. Students will have an opportunity to learn new skills, make eco-friendly crafts and help maintain our school garden throughout the school year!
What are the goal/s of this project?
Connections to our K-4 science curriculum:
Students in all five grade levels experience science standards and benchmarks that stress the importance of observation and understanding of plants and animals in their natural environment. The life cycles of butterflies for starters is covered in kindergarten and first grade, which could be easily observed in our outdoor habitat. All grade levels are exploring the characteristics and properties of plants, so the ability to see these beyond a book or image is extremely valuable to our students. Plants and animals can be identified by observable traits and physical characteristics.
Students will be able feed and observe animals and insects in their natural environments. Students will be able to first hand make observations and identification of different plant and animal life in the habitat. The food cycle/food chain is easily observable in a natural setting where students can explore and record their experimental data, hypothesis and conclusions.
Description of the Project:
The Coolidge Schoolyard habitat project has taken a three-walled alcove located in the front of our building and transformed this empty space into an outdoor classroom for nature study. As we broke ground in March through April of 2015, we tilled and turned the soil in specific planting areas. Raised dirt berms were added to create height and interest to the landscape. A center sitting area was defined and enhanced with the addition of large logs for classes to sit. Gravel or mulch-lined pathways were created to travel through the area, so students and staff may interact and view the varieties of plants, insects and animal life the habitat invites. The center of the habitat is currently set with a formal sidewalk, which will be buffered with rocks and landscape edging to help protect plants and wildlife from human and salt damage. Throughout the habitat, a good variety of native Michigan plant species have been planted and labeled to help students learn proper names. Bird and butterfly feeders were built for year-round viewing from our school's windows. One corner of the habitat showcases five raised beds, which individual classes or whole grade levels may plant vegetables and flowers for educational and community purposes. We plan to continue adding plants, additional landscaping, formal fencing and possibly a water feature in the upcoming year or two. With help from our garden committee, we plan to maintain and manage the habitat's successful growth into future years.