Cluster Gardens | Living Classrooms
Students at the Capitol Hill Cluster School are as likely to find their classrooms outdoors as inside. These living classrooms support lessons on art, science, math, literacy, and geography.
The Cluster School’s gardens would not exist without the dedication and support of the parents, neighbors, and friends that volunteer countless hours to maintain and grow our gardens.
Please read below to find out how you can help!
Click here to learn what’s NEW in the Peabody Gardens!
Peabody students have 15 gardens to explore, including the Discovery Garden. Created in 2007, it includes a Creepy Crawler Maze to foster curiosity; a Wiggle Way path for running and learning garden words; and the Learning Spot, filled with birds, insects, butterflies, and worms attracted by native plants. In addition, Peabody students started the 2010 school year harvesting vegetables from the new Louise Chapman Children’s Garden. This “edible schoolyard” features thirteen raised vegetable beds, allowing each classroom to design, plant, maintain, and harvest its own garden. An additional nine boxes near the playground were completed in August 2010. This Playground Garden is being used with the school’s garden-based literacy curriculum, “The Story of Food: Growing Healthy Readers,” which features hands-on gardening projects, field trips to local farms, a focus on nutrition and healthy eating, basic ecology education, and classroom cooking experiences for students. To learn more, click here or visit the Peabody Garden Patrol blog.
Parents interested in helping with any aspect of the Peabody Gardens (maintenance, grant writing, communications, school food and nutrition, composting, stormwater management, and more) should contact Laura Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Master Gardeners, parents, and other volunteers keep Peabody Garden areas healthy and growing. Our Master Gardener Advisers (also volunteers) need help with routine and special maintenance on scheduled workdays. The Master Gardener Advisers spend time during each session discussing the learning aspects of the garden as well as answering questions about the school garden and gardening. The garden patrol has tools and gloves for volunteers to use.
Watkins Elementary School Gardens
Watkins is surrounded on three sides by 20 themed gardens, including a Native American garden, a Garden of Japan, a wetlands garden, a dinosaur garden, and a child’s garden, which is a certified wildlife habitat garden. With the generous support of FRESHFARM Markets, our FoodPrints classes for the first and third grades use garden activities such as planting, harvesting, and cooking to teach concepts in the science, math, social studies, physical education and writing curriculum for each grade. The fourth graders are exploring their Wetlands Garden and learning about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in science. The second graders are exploring the gardens to increase their writing, science, and math skills.
Recent news about the Watkins School Gardens and FoodPrints:
January 2012 – Chef Alice Waters Visits Watkins’ Foodprints Program
September 2011 – Watkins Foodprints Program Featured on NBCNews 4
If you would like to receive e-mail notifications about volunteering or have any other input or questions about the Watkins Gardens, please contact Barbara Percival at email@example.com
Stuart-Hobson Middle School Gardens
Stuart-Hobson’s garden program is the Cluster School’s newest, but it is no less ambitious than those at Watkins and Peabody. The Nancy Cunningham Memorial and Native Plant Garden is a habitat for native birds and insects and includes a monarch butterfly habitat. Parents, students, and teachers are currently working on creating the Bird Walk, which will incorporate a student-made fused-glass birdbath, bird feeders and houses, and a patio and bench, all nestled among native plantings. The tile mosaic overlooking the garden was created by students as a part of an arts integration project. In addition, a sloping concrete wall was replaced by a Terraced Garden helping prevent storm water overflow, a major cause of pollution in the Anacostia River, and teaching students about the ways to better manage storm water in urban areas.
If you are interested in helping to grow the Stuart-Hobson gardens, please contact Suzanne Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.