This Blog is dedicated to the Anonymous Donor who kindly funded our project, We Need To Breathe. All of us in Classtopia thank you for your generosity. Without your support this project could not have happened so quickly. Special thanks to Kylie's mom who ran around the city looking for borders and stepping stones for the garden. To Ms J., one of the office staff, who kindly shared her funds with us, we love your support. Our friend The, who donated and continues to donate plants as well as other materials to the nation, thanks for adding another dimension to the Classtopia experience.
We are very happy to announce that on February 9, 2017, we created on DonorsChoose.org, a project for Classtopia. The name of the project "We Need to Breathe" was initially a small project to get some much needed tools for working in the garden. The purpose of the project was to get Classtopians more involved in civic duty and responsibility to the community. Creating new garden spaces on the campus was a way to help make the campus more beautiful. We wanted to revitalize some overlooked areas by creating small garden vignettes. This would change the space in very dramatic ways: students and staff would stop to look at the plants and flowers and connect with each other and the obvious increase in biodiversity on the campus would lend itself to more students having first hand experiences with plants and animal life cycles. The goal is to have outdoor learning spaces for people of all ages.
Since October, we have been working hard on campus beautification projects. The first garden, now completed and thriving, has given us the confidence to want to do more to make the campus a more inviting place.
We noticed that the garden bed behind the school's auditorium was in dire need of care. There is evidence that a long time ago there was intentional planting. Toady, what remains is a grouping of persistent Yucca plants that continue to grow despite neglect.
|First view of the area.|
After informing the principal of the plan to take over the new area, Classtopians went into full attack mode and decided to clear the area of weeds, pull dead Yucca leaves, and prune unsightly branches After an hour of work and thirty pair of helping hands the space looked much better. We collaborated on the ideal plants for the new space and settled on a garden that would have to be a drought tolerant because of the amount of sun it received daily. Classtopians monitored the area for several days to make sure that the choices of plants would be the right. The space was sunny enough for succulents and to incorporate a butterfly garden.
|Plants needed to be cleaned|
|Students attacking the Yucca plants.|
|Yucca plants and removed Eucalyptus tree stump.|
|Planter bed after initial clearing of weeds.|
We needed help to get the project on the way. Kylie's uncle had some information about DonorsChoose and passed it on to one of our new Coordinators, Ms. C. She helped a lot with the process and before long our project was submitted and approved. We waited to see if our project would get the funding we needed. While waiting for the funds we continued to make plans for the new area.
On February 15, we reached out to a long time friend about our project and what we were doing in Classtopia. Within minutes of the e-mail our project was completely funded. The project list included; a shovel for digging holes, a greenhouse to begin germination of seeds from the garden and for the garden areas around the campus, a 175ft. hose to reach the planting beds far away from the spigots, four terrariums to raise delicate seedlings and cuttings, and a pruner to clip and maintain plants.
Materials for project began arriving on February 21, and were quickly put to the test. The shovel was the first item to be used. The new area needed to be aerated for the plant roots to expand and for the impending rain. Everyone took part in the activities.
We also received a small grant from Ms. J. to buy plants. She works at our school and believed in our project. With the money we were able to buy plants at mickeyhargitayplants. Mickey was generous enough to donate some additional plants to us and also challenge us to take care of some neglected nursery plants. We are happy to say that all the plants are doing well.
|Classtopians at work.|
|"Many hands make light work."|
|First plants in the new bed. Plants stayed in pots a few days to acclimatize to the area.|
We continue to work hard in Classtopia to beautify every little bit on neglected space on our campus. We recognize that we need friends just as much as we need to breathe. It is through the generous contributions of our friends that we are making a difference to our school community.