Samuel Mills Sprole school building on Hoyt Street
Getting the roof ready (photo courtesy of MS 442)
Dirt being lifted onto roof (photo courtesy of MS 442)
The roof garden this morning. The Center area is planted with native plants.
Students with young tomato plants.
Garden gloves for everyone
Science teachers Jason James and Maureen Anderson
giving advice as the students plant tomatoes
I couldn't think of a better way of starting this sunny day than with the 7th graders at MS 442 on their brand new roof garden at the Samuel Mills Sprole school building at 317 Hoyt Street, between Union and President Streets.
This was a long awaited moment. The Middle Schoolers had started vegetable and herb seedlings in the classroom a few weeks ago, and now it was time to plant them outdoors in the raised planting beds on the second floor roof garden, which has just recently been completed with the generous help of Lowe's Corporation, Citizens Committee for New York City, Harefield Road, Architect Jean Miele and others.
The planting project involves all of the 200 students at MS442 and science teachers Maureen Anderson, Christine Bahringer, and Jason James. Under their supervision, the children had laid out their vegetable garden carefully, deciding beforehand where the tomatoes, broccoli, collards, basil, and oregano plants should be placed. The edible garden will be planted around the outer edges of the planting area for easy access. The central planting area is reserved for native, self-sustaining perennials, such as columbines, flax and coreopsis.
It was a real pleasure to see the kids so exited. MS 442 Principal Deanna Sinito looked on proudly as her charges excitedly dug in the dirt. It was clear that this rooftop and garden meant a lot to her, her teachers and staff, but most importantly, to the kids.
To everyone at MS442, thanks for allowing me to be part of this day. And please invite me back when you harvest the first crop.