Daniel Warren Elementary School students recently volunteered during their lunch period and recess to beautify their school garden. They pulled weeds in the Wangari Nursery and walking areas of the garden and took care of the wilted marigolds in the raised garden beds.

Thanks to a PTSA garden volunteer program, now in its third year, students and parents participate in activities at the garden throughout the year. Students pull weeds, water plants, spread mulch, learn about different plants, practice yoga, paint and more. 

“Parents have been instrumental in the sustainability of our garden,” teacher Jane Schumer said. “Parents always leave their session feeling uplifted by the positive response of the children.”

The school’s Peace Garden, which was established in 2010, has been used as an outdoor classroom that enhances the K-2 science units. Teachers bring students to the garden to plant flowers, release butterflies, read stories, spark creativity, and inspire respect and a love of nature. 

Several peace symbols decorate the garden, such as a peace mandala centerpiece, a Japanese peace crane sculpture and a peace pole. Additionally, the garden features an oak tree nursery in honor of Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, a 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner who was an environmentalist and a champion of women’s rights.