Training sessions for NEW and CURRENT docents begins Monday! Training sessions will be held in Campbell, Los Altos, and Mountain View (for both Mountain View and Palo Alto docents).
Trainings will be held from 2:00-5:00 pm in Campbell, and from 9:00AM-Noon in both Los Altos and Mountain View.
See the Docent Training Schedule for all details.
On October 18, 2018, our Garden Manager Patti Berryhill led a team of volunteers from SAP, coordinated through Hands-On Bay Area, (HOBA) did an amazing amount of work restoring the Native Habitat Garden for the students of Hoover School. There was weeding, weeding, and more weeding to be done, along with some projects to replace some signage and upgrade some of the irrigation systems in the Farm to Lunch Beds. This day of service made such a difference to this garden, and we are so grateful to all the volunteers who gave of their time and effort. Thank you HOBA and SAP!
Los Altos School District iLearn Studio
201 Covington Road, Los Altos
Monday, November 5, 2018 10-11:30am
Come learn about one of our most precious resources...water...during a
special hands-on presentation by the Santa Clara Valley Water
District! Learn where our water comes from in Santa Clara county
and gain a better understanding of the overall California water picture.
Find out what you can do to help conserve this precious resource.
Please RSVP to email@example.com by Friday 11/2.
All about tomatoes
Third grade students have been busy tasting, squishing, and saving the seeds of heirloom tomatoes while participating in the Life Cycle of a Tomato lesson. Living Classroom put this lesson into "hibernation" as we moved it from second grade, and adjusted it to fit the third grade NGSS standards. Students who participated in part two of the lesson this week enjoyed rinsing their seeds, and observing the impact of the yeast that had removed the gelatinous seed coats from the tomato seeds. Now the seeds must rest in a cool, dry place over the winter, so that they can be planted in spring, when the earth warms up. Such a wonderful process for the students to participate in firsthand!
Living Classroom has wonderful Fall-themed lessons, such as Three Sisters Harvest, for third graders, which highlights the importance of the harvest season, and From Seed to Pretzel #1, a second grade lesson that shares the importance of sowing winter wheat in the Fall, to grow all year long.
A great big thanks to volunteers from Google who worked hard on a hot day to clear huge amounts of weeds, including Bermuda grass, from 25 planter boxes at Castlemont Elementary School in Campbell. Their volunteer project will allow Living Classroom to use many of these beds for their lessons in the new school year along with other school use.
And the next day, SAP volunteers weed whacked and pulled weeds which were crowding out the native plants at the Science Resource Center Native Habitat Garden used by Hoover School students. Now we will follow up with sheet mulching and planting additional native plants in the fall.
Living Classroom is once again providing fun, enriching and educational activities for 300 students enrolled in the Mountain View Whisman School District's summer school. We are providing four activities for each class in grades 1-6 and special needs classes as well.
Below are photos from the Building a Hugel Mound project for 4th graders. The Hugel Mound is made of branches, leaves, soil and other organic materials which demonstrate water infiltration to reduce storm water runoff, and also decomposition. The process helps to improve soil fertility and soil warming and benefits plants grown on or near the mounds.
Students planted small native plants as the last step in completing their mounds and to celebrate released ladybugs which are wonderful beneficial insects. Two students were delighted to have them land on their hands!
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!
BRINGING NATURE HOME
“RESTORING NATURE ONE GARDEN AT A TIME: HOW TREES AND NATIVE PLANTS ARE KEY TO BRINGING BACK OUR BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, AND ENTIRE ECOSYSTEMS"
Thursday, May 31st
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Mountain View Senior Center
266 Escuela Ave, Mountain View, CA 94040
Free workshop, open to the community
Living Classroom founder, Vicki Moore, will present research from the recent California Native Plant Society conference that has major implications on the way we look at trees, plants, gardens, and landscaping. Special emphasis will be made on what each of us can do to bring back our local ecology at our own homes. Easy-to-use online references will be shared so attendees will have the tools to create their own native habitat gardens.
Living Classroom has been installing two new interpretive signs at its school native habitat gardens. Funded through grants from the Palo Alto Garden Club and Los Altos Kiwanis Club, one sign focuses on the importance of planting native milkweed as a critical host plant for the Monarch Butterfly as part of its western migratory route, while the other informs about the importance of planting native plants that attract pollinators and the important services pollinators provide. Thanks to designer Patricia Campbell for her generous donation of her time and talent to produce these beautiful signs.