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St. Patrick's Garden & Outdoor Learning Space Launches


 

St. Patrick's Garden & Outdoor Learning Space Launches

As reflected in our Sustainability Mission Statement, we strive “to shape engaged citizens who live with integrity, empathy, and purpose, in part by involving our community in the stewardship of the planet.” To that end, and as current circumstances made clear the importance of outdoor learning spaces, St. Patrick’s began work on a new outdoor space - the St. Patrick’s Garden & Outdoor Learning Space.

As reflected in our Sustainability Mission Statement, we strive “to shape engaged citizens who live with integrity, empathy, and purpose, in part by involving our community in the stewardship of the planet.” To that end, and as current circumstances made clear the importance of outdoor learning spaces, St. Patrick’s began work on a new outdoor space - the St. Patrick’s Garden & Outdoor Learning Space.

The 3,750-square-foot space, located on our Foxhall Campus, consists of nine garden beds and space for several outdoor classrooms. The Garden & Outdoor Learning Space was launched at the start of the 2020–2021 school year, providing students the opportunity to use tools, learn about our food system, and watch plants grow throughout the year. This innovative space was made possible thanks to donations from a group of generous environmentalists.

During the summer and fall, more than 200 individual volunteers of all ages helped set up the garden by moving compost and mulch, installing outdoor classrooms, weeding, planting living clover pathways, and harvesting vegetables and herbs. From broccoli and dinosaur kale to cilantro and the ever-popular stevia, our fall harvest consisted of more than 30 crops.

To help us plan our planting season and create the ideal learning environment, St. Patrick’s has partnered with a local gardening organization, Love & Carrots. Our faculty have been hard at work planning ways to embed this garden space into the educational program and ensure that it will be a dynamic addition to our curriculum. Director of Sustainability Sam Mason says, “Lower School science students love using the garden to understand where our food comes from and how our food grows!”