The staff of this science magnet school wanted gardens they could use for teaching: botany, cell biology, chemistry, art and Virginia history. We worked with the head science teacher to plan a garden for pollinators and wildlife, and included plants early American colonists and Indians used for food, dye and medicine. The school’s front yard, previously poor quality sod over construction rubble, is now certified by the National Wildlife Foundation and has been the site of erosion control studies with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The best part: the whole front garden was installed by the kids–419 of them–over the course of one week in April, 2002.
The PTA also raised money to have a hot, ugly paved inner courtyard converted to a koi pond with a Japanese tea house, outlined with beds for classes to use for experiments.