Through a joint project of Living Classroom and Canopy, students, teachers, parents and neighbors of Crittenden Middle School in Mountain View can enjoy a new native habitat garden! The Native Habitat Garden will be used for Next Generation Science aligned lessons for students and native plant landscaping in other areas of the campus will not only be beautiful and water conserving, but also attract native wildlife.
On Saturday, May 5th, 120 volunteers from SEWA USA, a nonprofit service organization, Google, and Crittenden school parents and students came together to plant approximately 200 hundred trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers on the campus including five California native oak trees. They also installed several dozen posts for plant signs, and sheet mulched all the planting areas. Prior and following the community work day, the Maniglia Landscape Company, through the California Landscape Contractors Association San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, donated their time, materials, expertise and equipment to install the pathway, contour the soil, and install the irrigation. Finishing touches including special interpretive signs will be installed in the coming weeks.
We are thrilled to announce that Living Classroom will be expanding its programming to the Campbell Union Elementary School District (CUSD)! Thanks to a grant from the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, and additional anticipated grants, Living Classroom will be launching a K-3 program at six schools within the District where we will provide up to 400 lessons and build at least three new gardens. Depending on the final funding, we will be able to provide our impactful garden-based experiences to close to 1,500 CUSD students.
CUSD has made a significant commitment to support environmental literacy through its work with ChangeScale and is one of only four school districts in the Bay Area to develop an environmental literacy plan. Part of the plan includes the “Champions for Change” program which focuses on agriculture, watershed protection and human impacts on the environment. Living Classroom is honored to play an important role in the implementation of CUSD’s environmental literacy plan.
We anticipate, if funding allows, that Living Classroom will grow in subsequent years to potentially serve all 7,500 students at CUSD, an ethnically diverse school district with schools in Campbell, San Jose, and Saratoga, and where almost half of the student body qualify for free or reduced lunch.
We’ll keep you posted on our launching of this new program!