As part of the Lower School–Elementary Gardening special course, fourth grade students helped launch the Calhoun Garden, a section of Riverside Park at 84th Street that Calhoun will be maintaining and stewarding. Below Andrew Hume, Director of Enrollment and the special course teacher, describes more about the work students have done in the garden.
Students began the course by visiting the garden, drawing and journaling about what it looks like now. We then began to imagine what the garden could become and brainstormed ideas for what we might grow and how we might landscape. We've consulted with Riverside Park staff who have shared their expertise about native plants and we've worked together to weed the garden.
Students have also been documenting the garden's transformation through writing, photos and art. As part of the class, they are helping students and teachers across grade levels get excited about the garden. Fourth graders helped organize and promote the Garden Kickoff for families offered as part of Calhoun's Homecoming festivities, and spearheaded a family day at the Garden in November.
Institutionally, we're excited that the Calhoun Garden will provide a hyperlocal opportunity for our students to connect with the land, plant, and engage in science study across divisions. We see the Calhoun Garden as a space for our community and the NYC public to relax, study, read, meditate and appreciate beauty. Our students play in Riverside Park and it's great to have an opportunity to feel a sense of ownership/stewardship and give back to the park that benefits us so much. This connects to our mission of community involvement and our strategic plan initiative "Calhoun Everywhere."