Community comes together for garden improvements

We are so grateful for all of the volunteers that help maintain our gardens each year!

From families that sign up to water and weed during the summer, to parents and grandparents that help out during classroom garden visits to those who help with special projects, we are lucky to have such a wonderful community that comes together to make it all happen.

Burbank grandparent, Norm Karsten donated his time and skills to build 8 clear-sided planter boxes, so we can see what’s happening underground.

Last summer, after the covered walkway to the modulars was installed, we needed to empty one of the huge planter boxes to move it to the other side of the walkway. Several parents worked together to dig out all the plants, move the boxes, and refill them.

After the boxes were moved, a new path was put in on the other side of the boxes. The landscape committee also works to ensure that the paths are cared for, the beds are mulched, and the hoses work properly.

After several years, the old stumps began to rot, so a group of parents and students worked together to replace them with new stumps donated by the DPW.

We’ve been doing lots of weeding and working to fix up the gardens before everyone comes back to school. Thank you to the garden committee, the landscape committee, our summer garden volunteers, and everyone who has helped to make our gardens a very special place!

Dedication of Tricia’s Nook

On Friday, May 31, 2019 many students, families, and teachers gathered around the Garden Classroom for a Garden Party and special dedication to honor Dr. Tricia Clifford. During her eight years as Burbank principal, Dr. Clifford did so much for the school and played a key role in supporting the building and use of our school gardens.

PTA Co-President Seetha Burtner announced the naming of a new bench and arbor feature in the garden as “Dr. Tricia Clifford’s Nook” (affectionately known as “Tricia’s Nook”) to honor her nurturing of Burbank’s gardens and children. Dr. Clifford was invited to place an inscribed rock in the garden nook and unveil the new bench.

“Tricia’s Nook” is a delightful spot to sit and enjoy views of the garden – take a moment to try it!  

4th grade students dig up potatoes

On a chilly November day, the 4th graders visited the gardens to harvest potatoes and help prepare the garden for the coming winter.

A week before Thanksgiving, seemed like a fitting time to learn about the potato.  This plant was first farmed in Peru by the Incas and was brought to Europe by the Spanish.

It later made its way back across the Atlantic to North America, but not in time to be eaten at the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth.  We learned about the parts of the potato plant and that while it can be grown from a seed, most potatoes grow from other potatoes underground.

We dumped out the sacks of potatoes that had been planted in the spring by last year’s 4th graders and found that they had spread underground!

There were so many of them!  We dug the potatoes out from the dirt and saw all shapes and sizes – from the size of marbles, up to a few inches.

We also talked about our responsibility to the environment, and how important our immediate surroundings are.  We collected the painted stones that students made last year for the  “Only One You” exhibit and put them in a safe place for the cold, snowy months ahead.  Look for them outside again in the Garden Classroom next spring!

2nd Graders learn about life cycles and how seeds travel

The second graders were very enthusiastic this fall, braving the elements to learn outside!
The students were very keen to share their knowledge of the changing seasons, in particular discussing the signs of autumn. They were encouraged to search for those many different signs of fall and share with the other members of their group.

It was wonderful for them to make the connection of the life cycle of plants and insects, specifically going back to their lesson from first grade, that of the milkweed plant and the important part it plays in attracting monarch butterflies. The herb garden is always a popular area, the students enjoying the smells of the different herbs!

With the many different signs of fall, the notion of seed dispersal was prevalent in their discoveries. They loved learning about the different ways seeds travel and finding out that the creation of Velcro was inspired by the bur!

In the vegetable garden, we found seeds in the flower buds of the giant weeds, in the dried up flowers of the garlic chives, and where the flowers used to be on the dill. We also saw tiny baby dill plants growing where the seeds were falling on the soil.

We even saw some tomato plants that grew from where tomatoes had dropped to the ground last year.

Thank you to all of our parent volunteers for making these garden visits possible!

Kindergarteners plant garlic and crocus bulbs

It was a great time had by all. The students loved getting their hands in the dirt, planting crocuses, and are already looking forward to the spring to see their flowers bloom.

The children discovered the many varying types of seeds, learned about how similar or different they were and where to find them in fruit, vegetables and flowers.

They became little scientists when asked to draw their favorite, showing where the seeds were.

The students loved exploring the garden classroom searching for all the wonderful items on their scavenger sheets such as seed pods, mushrooms, ferns, fall colored leaves and dried up flowers.

In the vegetable garden, we did a few of the tasks that farmers do in the fall. We harvested some lettuce and radishes. Then we planted garlic. Most of the food we grow is planted in the spring, but garlic, like crocus bulbs, is planted in the fall. We made sure to plant our cloves with the shoot end pointing up and the root end pointing down. We can’t wait to see the green shoot start to come up in early spring!

Thank you to all of our parent volunteers for making this possible!