Spring Is Here & So Is Planting With A Living Library

Spring Plating at Denman Rear YardIn the Rear Yard of James Denman Middle School, it was a busy Tuesday on April 03, 2018, after the students’ Spring Break. Bonnie Ora Sherk, along with A.L.L. Teachers Susan Meyer, Erika Garcia, Laurus Myth, and Jennifer Brandel were working with Denman students during the school day and after school helping them plant California Native Trees and Understory Plants around the new Redwood Circle. Delivered from Pacific Nurseries, these California Natives were planted as a part of the planting plan developed by Bonnie Ora, to create a new Outdoor Classroom, adding to the other newly established California Native Learning Zones that are transforming the otherwise barren, asphalt and concrete school yard into a vibrant series of gardens of colors, textures and new life.

Preparations for the Spring planting sessions had started weeks ago, with contractor Catarino Mendoza and his crew digging out a second layer of concrete and asphalt underneath the first layers, and taking away the bad fill to prepare the soil for planting. Before the school and school yard were there, the area was a continuation of Otsego Street, thus the additional layers of concrete and asphalt.  The Contractor also worked on the interior of the Redwood Circle and will be adding DG (Decomposed Granite) with stabilizer which will become the area for the Redwood Stumps that will serve as seating in the new Outdoor Classroom.Catarino Mendoza and his crew digging out second layer of asphalt and concreteOn Tuesday and continuing on Thursday (April 05, 2018), students from 6th and 7th grade science classes, planted the following native trees understory plants around the Circle: California Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia), California Black Oak (Quercus keloggii), Blue Oak (Quercus douglasii), California Flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum), Bush Mallow (Lavatera Kew Rose), and two varieties of Ceanothus: Yankee Point and Dark Star. The students also staked the trees, mulched, and watered the plants, and weeded some of the other areas planted some months back. Below are a few pictures documenting the work done by the students on April 3 and April 5:

students using the stake pounder to put in the tree stakes

Students using the stake pounder to put in the tree stakesRear Yard of James Denman Middle School

Once fully grown, the native trees and understory plants will create beautiful, multi-functional outdoor garden environments for the students and re-attract birds and pollinators, while adding a more natural look and charm to the total environment. A Living Library thanks Lisa Jovick, Principal and Hossein Koch, Assistant Principal from James Denman Middle School; participating Denman Science Teachers Ms. Casey, Ms. Norberg, and Mr Luu; and the many 6th and 7th Grade Denman Students who have committed themselves to the ecological transformation of their school yard and neighborhood.

More planting will continue! Stay tuned for upcoming planting sessions by A Living Library. Planting at James Denman Middle School

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