About the Garden Classroom

Friday, June 5, the Burbank School community celebrated the opening of the Garden Classroom and organic vegetable garden with a festive outdoor ceremony and ribbon cutting.

The newly established gardens are the culmination of a year-long initiative to enhance the school grounds and provide inspiring outdoor spaces for innovative teaching and hands-on learning.

Burbank PTA Co-Presidents Laurie Bufano and Harriet Wong thanked the partners, sponsors, and many contributors to the projects.  They applauded the collaboration and community support that made the gardens possible.

Belmont High sophomore and Burbank alumnus Walker Thomas played a leading role in the development of the Burbank Garden Classroom as his Eagle Scout project. He thanked the PTA for the partnership opportunity and urged current students to consider how they too could give back to their school.

Burbank Principal Dr. Tricia Clifford expressed her excitement for the transformed Garden Classroom, which “will provide a place for all of us to explore the natural world, to be curious about plants, trees and rocks.” She noted that “This garden was built based on many of the things that students learn about in the classroom – and our core values (love of learning, respect, and well being) are also tied to the garden.” Dr. Clifford then cut a ribbon, releasing a flood of excited students into the Garden Classroom for the first time.

The garden party opened with students singing “Inch by Inch” with music teacher Ms. Vickie Livermore. After the ceremony students and families enjoyed maypole dancing to accordion music and nature discovery activities led by educators from Mass Audubon/Habitat.

The PTA was thrilled with the tremendous turnout of students and families, teachers and staff, and many of the landscape professionals and local groups who helped establish the gardens. The Burbank Garden Classroom is co-sponsored by the Foundation for Belmont Education, and the Burbank Vegetable Garden is co-sponsored by Mass Agriculture in the Classroom.

What is in the Garden Classroom?

Colonial herbs (in raised planters):

Parsley, sage, hyssop, lemon balm – planted by former 3rd grade Nasturtium (edible flowers) – seeds planted by last year’s 3rd grade Blueberry Honeysuckle (climbing trellis)

Butterfly Garden:

Flowering perennials for pollinators (aster, milkweed, phlox, coneflower, daylily) (Swallowtail caterpillars and butterfly have been seen in the garden!)

Fairy Garden:

Tree stumps circle, woodchips Shade plants (hosta, bleeding heart, lady’s mantle)

“Teepee” frame:

Magic beanstalks (pole beans)– planted by last year’s Kindergarten students


Granite slab rocks (from Belmont’s old Underwood Pool!) Smaller rocks of various types

Weather Station:

Mounted on rear of building, not visible from Garden Classroom. Weather data (temperature, humidity, wind speed, rainfall) will soon be accessible online from any classroom.

Garden Gallery

Grand Opening Ceremony

The Completed Garden Classroom

The Garden Classroom Under Construction