gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Planning a Spring Garden

on January 21, 2015


This year fourth grade students have been studying the space outside the the cafeteria courtyard.  Students have been working at ways to redesign this space.  Some of the ideas include making a wildlife habitat and rain garden to make the space more sustainable.  We invited Ms. Harriet Cramer and Ms. Angelica Finelli from Cramer Designs Associates to help answer questions about building a garden in this space.  

Students listed obstacles with using the space

-shady, too many weeds, flooded, not attractive, poor sandy soil in upper space

Colin mentioned that “we need to be sure to be more sustainable with the space.  Perhaps we can expand the compost produced in the garden.”

Jack said we “need to make a plan.  We need to know where everything is in the design like doors, windows, buildings, and benches.”

Zach made a point to say “we needed to have ideas and observe possible things that could go wrong.”

Madison mentioned we definitely needed a before and after picture for the project to get a sense of the progress over time.  

Students explored different ideas to maintain and care for the garden during the summer and school year.  

Fourth grade students considered the role of the final cost of the project as being an important factor in finalizing the garden design.  

Soil and light seem to be major factors in determining what plants will grow best in the space. 

Students shared the soil studies and observations planting in the garden with the Cramer Design team.  Our next step is to discuss possible garden designs with the space considering the needs of the whole community at the Shipley School.  4th graders did a great job discussing the design of the new wildlife habitat and rain garden.   We look forward to developing a good design and planting in the early spring when plans are finalized.


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