“We envision not just an area where students will learn, but an outdoor environment which they will help create. To join in a partnership with our community which will help improve and beautify an area speaks volumes to our students about caring for our earth.” – Laura Scott, Principal, PS10
A creative collaboration
In 2009, HomeGrown initiated a partnership with PS10 to develop ways in which the school can make use of Butterfly Garden. Out of this alliance has come a long-term, joint effort to make the park a functional “outdoor classroom.”
We began with Butterfly Days – a celebratory release into the gardens of the butterflies raised by the students at this magnet school for science, math and technology. This is now an annual event at Butterfly Garden. We have also focused the design and ongoing care of the garden areas on creating an environment that is friendly to butterflies, pollinators and our young partners at PS10. Students at PS10 cleared and planted the first of our native pollinators’ plants in 2010.
Working in close collaboration with the PS10 teacher-parent community, we developed the PS10 Farm in the center of the park: a system of raised beds for the children to grow and harvest produce. PS10 parents designed and helped build the farm – with support from Parks Department staff. We are especially grateful to Partnerships for Parks, the Citizens Committee for New York City, Goldman Sachs, Lowes, and Home Depot for their financial support of the PS10 School Farm at Butterfly Garden.
In 2015, MS 88 and PS 53 joined our schools partnership. Those schools’ students plant crops at the expanded School Farm, help to care for the butterfly garden-habitat as well as plan and execute park improvement projects.
HomeGrown also provides volunteer opportunities for students along with certificates documenting community service hours.
See the gallery of pictures of Butterfly Days and the School Farm [coming soon] .
A major upgrade
Also in 2015, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced $450,000 in funding to repave and enhance outdoor classroom amenities at Butterfly Garden.
Together with our schools partners, HomeGrown has been working with the Parks Dept. through the design phase. Track the progress of this Parks Dept. capital project here.