Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Codman Academy Charter School in Dorchester, MA occupies a storefront in one of Boston’s low-income neighborhoods, sandwiched between units of affordable apartment housing. Their “playground” was a packed dirt yard abutting a parking lot. The school, which uses trauma-informed design to help at-risk students feel more grounded and safe, looked to the Community Outreach Group for Landscape Design (COGDesign) to create a more appropriate play space. Designer David McCoy of Geographia Landscape Design developed a beautiful plan for a sensory and environmental playground, and A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative was lucky enough to be able to install it. Thanks to COGdesign and Codman Academy for the chance to participate in this exciting project!

empty dirt lot with low metal fence

Play area before construction.

landscape plan

Master Plan by David McCoy

poster from 2nd grade class saying "thank you for building our park!"

“Thank You” poster from second-graders at Codman Academy

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Job Posting from City Sprouts:
CitySprouts is a nonprofit school garden organization that partners with public schools to integrate academic and environmental education in the schools and neighborhood. CitySprouts provides every Cambridge Public School, elementary through 8th grade, with on-site gardens that function as outdoor classrooms; on-going maintenance and development of these outdoor classroom gardens; support to teachers in integrating their classroom curricula outside to the school garden; and a summer internship program for youth ages 11-14.
The Garden Coordinator is a seasonal position, spring through fall. The Garden Coordinator maintains the physical space, supports teachers’ use of the garden for teaching during the school year, and leads one section of the 8-week summer youth internship program.
• Experience teaching children in a public school setting, preferably outdoor education
• Experience working with middle school-aged youth
• Experience managing a food-growing garden
• Working knowledge of organic gardening practices
• Strong communication and organizational skills
• Ability to do physical work outside
• Access to a car or truck for occasional use
Job Responsibilities
Maintain schools’ outdoor classroom gardens as an educational resource for teachers and the school community
– maintain an attractive & functional garden space with a variety of edible crops, flowers, native species, and specialty plants throughout the growing season, using best practices in organic gardening
Encourage & support teachers’ use of the CitySprouts garden for instruction
– serve as the garden “expert” to the school community
– coordinate use of the growing space for teachers, school staff and community partners, ensuring that children at all grade levels have access to garden experience
– provide technical support to teachers as they develop garden-based extensions to classroom lessons and units
– document teachers’ garden use at each school
Lead teams of middle school youth in CitySprouts summer program
– teach gardening skills and food production skills, harvesting and cooking skills, and civic engagement & leadership skills to school-based teams of youth in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
The Garden Coordinator is assigned to three school gardens (serving 3 elementary and one middle school community), allocating approximately 8 hours/week to each school with additional time each week for team projects.
Seasonal: April 1 – Nov. 30, 30 hours/week Reports to: Cambridge Program Director Base $17 per hour
To apply, please send resume and cover letter to Kim Goldstein by Friday, July 13th: kgoldstein@citysprouts.org

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Native Perennial Bed at Brookfield Farm

Native Perennial Bed at Brookfield Farm

The CSA where my family gets our veggies and dairy, Brookfield Farm, is expanding their accessible garden.  I wanted to share the starter list of plants for a sensory garden, which I compiled to spark their creativity at their first planning meeting.  Some of these plants would also be fun in a garden for children, because they appeal to senses of touch and smell, as well as having eye-catching, bright colors. Enjoy!

Unless otherwise noted, all perennials are native to North America (many to New England), hardy to zone 5, drought tolerant, and low-maintenance.  Many of the red flowers will be butterfly-attractive.


Latin Common Notes
Achillea millefolium Yarrow Red/yellow, long bloomer
Artemesia Wormwood Fragrant, fuzzy leaves; *poisonous*
Ascelpias tuberosa Butterfly-weed Seedpods explode into soft floss
Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’ Non-native climber, fragrant
Comptonia peregrina Sweetfern Fragrant, foliage plant
Echinacea hybrids ‘Tomato Soup’, ‘Sunrise’, ‘Sundown’ Coneflower Red/yellow, fragrant, cones for texture
Meehania cordata Mountain mint Fragrant groundcover
Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ Bee-balm Red, fragrant
Rudbeckia nitida Black-eyed Susan Yellow, cones for texture
Sedum telephoides/ nevii/ ternatum Stonecrop Succulent leaves for texture; winter structure
Solidago rugosa Goldenrod Excellent value for pollinators
Stachys byzantina Lambs’ Ear Thick,fuzzy leaves; deer-resistant; non-native



Amaranthus caudatus Love-lies-bleeding Velvety flower spikes
Brugmansia Angel Trumpet Fragrant; can be overwintered indoors if grown in a pot, *poisonous*
Pennesetum ‘Rubrum’ Purple Fountain Grass Fluffy seedheads
Petunia Petunia Fragrant
Tagetes’ Inca Yellow’, ‘Safari Red’ Marigolds Fragrant

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