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We are builing a learning garden and creating curriculum for all subjects to get more of our community outside and learning.
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Through the Common Ground program students will learn compassionate land management skills at the Crane Trust Nature Center. These students will be removing invasive young eastern red cedar trees from native prairie habitat, they will extend the present hiking trail system by developing a new trail and they will be creating a new viewing blind where they and the public can observe sandhill cranes and other wildlife along the Platte River.
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We will grow food in crates. Each family takes home a themed sustainable food system. For example. A themed pizza garden may include tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, onions etc.
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The RECO club is a student green-club that volunteers to clean up waste from our natural areas as well as greening parts of the city in collaboration with NYC Parks Department by planting trees or working on park clean-up. The club is also affiliated with NYC's Office of Sustainability's Zero Waste Schools. We have a campaign to rescue some trash found within our school to make art projects from it (bracelets out of plastic bags, sculptures out of bottles, etc.) as well as push-in into classrooms to proactively teach other students on how to properly recycle. The RECO Club also takes trips to natural areas or facilities where innovation is taking place so that our urban youth can experience 'nature' or what people are doing around the city to promote sustainability.
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My class has chosen to focus on pollinator awareness. We've started a small apiary in the school and working on increasing public awareness. My students are learning to keep honeybees, extract and bottle honey, and use beeswax to make products. Our current obstacle is to increase the availability of pollinating plants by planting fruit and nut trees in the school park
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Hawlemont's playground is the only public park in the town. We having been working over the past few years to add gardens and fruit trees for the town's enjoyment. The gardens and trees not only beautify the park but add healthy fruits and vegetables for the community to enjoy. We are hoping to be able to plant several more fruit trees and continue to add and enhance our gardens. This year we would like to plant 5 new fruit trees and add a raised bed for a tomato garden on the side of our barn.
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I would like to begin as soon as we can with this project, while we are waiting for the thaw we will begin to sprout seeds inside of our classroom. We will then gather community members to clear the yard completely. We will gather shade loving plants as well as placing a layer of fresh compost, topsoil, and woodchips to make the place look like a woodland fairy garden. We have a set of logs and stumps that I would like to paint into mushroom toad stools. I will have the children make their own fairy stepping stones, out of poured cement. We will do all of the work allong with the class so that they can see what it looks like to care for our spaces.
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I would like to begin as soon as we can with this project, while we are waiting for the thaw we will begin to sprout seeds inside of our classroom. We will then gather community members to clear the yard completely. We will gather shade loving plants as well as placing a layer of fresh compost, topsoil, and woodchips to make the place look like a woodland fairy garden. We have a set of logs and stumps that I would like to paint into mushroom toad stools. I will have the children make their own fairy stepping stones, out of poured cement. We will do all of the work with the class so that they can see that we love and care for all things and places that we learn.
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We will be hosting a planting day at school where students can participate and earn community service hours. We are currently raising money for the garden by applying for garden grants, through the Green Pack Shirt sale, and fundraisers. Tree People will be collaborating with us to brainstorm ideas for plants and help us with our event day.
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We will purchase native, drought tolerant seeds and plants and plant them then tend to them on our campus to encourage increased biodiversity of flora and fauna. This will also beautify our campus.

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