Through the generosity of the Malcolm Gordon Fund, the Garrison School increased its trail network and had two very high-grade maps of the School Forest land created by Orienteering Unlimited, Inc. The new maps, below, are available to all who wish to use them to explore the incredible resource that is The Garrison School Forest. Enjoy!!!
On Saturday, Sept. 30, the Garrison Union Free School invites the public to participate in National Public Lands Day by helping to clear and blaze two trails within the Garrison School's 181-acre School Forest.
We seek volunteers to reclaim and maintain historic trails before the final printing of a new, detailed orienteering map of the School Forest. Adults and children are welcome. Volunteers will meet at 9:00 a.m. in the school parking lot, located at 1100 Route 9D, Garrison, NY. The event will end at 3:00 p.m.
We will work on two brand new additions to our School Forest. The Green Trail will link Beckwith Lane to the South Redoubt, allowing students to walk to the School Forest from the school's grounds. The Purple Trail will link the South Redoubt to the Blueberry Swamp.
Please bring the following items: water, work gloves, a hammer, long-handles lopping shears, a bow saw, a pruning saw and hand pruning shears.
Contact John Griffiths, Principal, Garrison School, for more information. (845) 424-4733 x 230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Garrison School's Environmental Education Committee invites members of the community to attend the fourth annual Celebrate the Forest event on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at 14 Cutler Lane, Garrison, New York.
This year's speaker, John Griffiths, Principal of the Garrison School, will discuss the benefits of environmental education for children, along with the Garrison School's current environmental education initiatives and goals.
Enjoy a variety of Trisha Mulligan’s fresh botanically infused spirits. Drinks will be accompanied by tasty seasonal nibbles, created by food writer Celia Barbour and the rest of the team.
This annual event raises funds to provide unique and immersive environmental education opportunities for Garrison School students.
Individual tickets: $45 in advance; $50 at the door.
Family tickets: $75 in advance; $80 at the door.
Please send checks made payable to: GUFS EE Fund, c/o C. Foertsch, 14 Cutler Lane, Garrison, NY 10524.
For more information, please contact Trisha Mulligan at email@example.com.
We seek volunteers to work in the Native Garden on Friday, May 20, starting at 11:00 a.m. Some plants in the garden will be relocated to make way for a new stage that will be built near the atrium windows. The plants will be planted at the new Poetry Trail at Winter Hill, which part of the Hudson Highland Land Trust River of Words program.
Most of the Native Garden will remain as it was originally planted. Only a portion of the plants will be moved. The new stage will be constructed later this year by a local Boy Scout troop. The stage will provide an outdoor place within the Native Garden for students to engage in poetry slams, musical and dramatic performances, writing celebrations and more!
Please come assist with digging out plants in the Native Garden on Friday, May 20 from 11:00 a.m. onward.
School Forest Day Chair Trisha Mulligan looks forward to the eighth annual School Forest Day, which will be held in the Garrison School Forest on Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6, 2016. "I love it so, so much," Mulligan said. This year, School Forest Day encompasses two days of outdoor educational programming. Each grade will spend one day in the School Forest.
"I've talked with the Student Government representatives to explore what they liked and didn't like about past School Forest Days," Mulligan said. "They like building fairy houses, shelter building, sensing the forest while blindfolded, team building activities, the scavenger hunt, and orienteering."
Mulligan and Principal John Griffiths hope to recruit several parent volunteers to assist with planning School Forest Day, and to work as coordinators on the day of the event. Each grade level will engage in different activities at various locations within the School Forest. So, teachers will need the assistance of parents. Students in Kindergarten and grades 1, 5, and 6 will engage in activities in the School Forest on Thursday, May 5. Students in grades 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 will engage in School Forest Day on Friday, May 6.
The Eco-Moms parent group dreamed up School Forest Day in 2008, and produced the first event in 2009.
Please contact Trisha Mulligan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to assist with School Forest Day.
The Garrison School invites parents to help create a new school vegetable garden on Thursday, April 21 and Friday, April 22 – Earth Day.
Nicole Porto, Garden Educator with Hudson Valley Seed, has been working with K-5 students to design the garden. Porto and a team of parents and students will build the 50' x 40' garden on the school grounds north of the upper parking lot and west of the shed. The garden will include raised beds and in-ground plots. Eight-foot-high deer fencing will surround the garden.
Garden construction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 21. Work will end at the close of the school day. Work will resume at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 22. K-5 classes will engage in the construction of the garden on both days. Porto, John Griffiths, Laura Mitchell, and the Environmental Education Committee encourage parents to assist with creation of the garden.
Ava Bynum, Executive Director of Hudson Valley Seed, solicited contributions for the new school garden at the Garrison Children's Education Fund Spring Thaw event on Saturday, April 2. Bynum made The Giving Tree, below, which listed specific items needed for the garden, such as seeds, shovels, a trellis, hoses, and a wheelbarrow. Individuals who attended the Spring Thaw pledged to give $2,800 in donations to provide resources for the new school garden.
The Giving Tree at the Spring Thaw event, Sat., April 2, 2016.
Hudson Valley Seed presents innovative, experiential and project-based food education to K-5 students at the Garrison School. Utilizing school gardens, Hudson Valley Seed offers curriculum-integrated lessons focused on healthy eating, food literacy, outdoor learning, and academic success. The organization began working with the Garrison School in March 2014.
The new garden will provide a hands-on teaching space for the Hudson Valley Seed program and for middle school garden-related lessons.
Giving Tree photograph. © Ava Bynum 2016.
The Forest Fridays program resumes on Friday, April 8! Teachers may sign up to take their students to the Garrison School Forest on Friday afternoons starting this week.
Local naturalist and environmental educator Pete Salmansohn expressed his excitement about the Forest Fridays program. "I'm so glad to see a reconnection with the School Forest," Salmansohn said.
Salmansohn, is an Education Coordinator with the National Audubon Society's Project Puffin Seabird Restoration Program. He's also an educator for the Hudson Highland Land Trust River of Words program. Each summer, he teaches at the Audubon camp at Hog Island in Maine. Salmansohn shared his favorite places to teach within the Garrison School Forest.
"You know where the School Forest entrance at 135 Snake Hill Road is? You make an immediate left, and there's a little stream there," Salmansohn said. "That's one of my favorite places. Even though that stream is really little, there's a lot in there. There's salamanders and frogs and fish, and all sorts of interesting water insects."
Salmansohn said he also enjoys taking students to the Blueberry Swamp. "It's a nice wetland, and it gives the kids a feeling of being away because it takes kind of a hike to get there," Salmansohn said. "Probably my favorite place is a vernal pool in the vicinity of blueberry swamp. I've taken kids there in the early spring to see breeding wood frogs and spotted salamanders.
"The South and the North Redoubts are wonderful places to go, as well, because they give children and adults alike a phenomenal panorama, and a feeling for the landscape," Salmansohn said. "Those sites show us just how lucky we are to live in an extraordinarily beautiful place."
Finn Waldron, a 2012 graduate of the Garrison School, built a welcome kiosk for the Garrison School Forest as a gift to the school district during the summer of 2015. Waldron initiated the project as part of his work to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
Waldron, who has spent a lot of time hiking in the School Forest and other park land in the Hudson Highlands, wanted to create a project that would encourage use of the School Forest. "I felt that this would help to make the school forest more accessible to our community," he said. "The kiosk will enable hikers to plan their hike better. The map will be a wonderful tool for all the hikers in this area."
The wooden kiosk features a large map of the School Forest, the history of the School Forest, the rules and operating hours of the School Forest, and emergency phone numbers. It is located at the School Forest entrance at 135 Snake Hill Road.
Waldron made a presentation and submitted a proposal to the School Board members of the Garrison School in May 2015. He worked with Richard Timmons, the Garrison School's Director of Maintenance, to scout out a location for the kiosk within the School Forest. Later in the summer, Mr. Timmons helped to install the kiosk.
N. Dain's Sons Co. of Peekskill gave Waldron a generous discount on the lumber for the kiosk. Waldron worked with his uncle Dan Lehmeier to build the kiosk in June. A crew of fellow Boy Scouts, Waldron's uncle, and others helped Waldron to install the kiosk in the School Forest on August 20. The pictures below chronicle the stages of the project. They are part of a book Waldron created to document his project. An excerpt from the book is displayed below.
Waldron attends James I. O'Neill High School, and is now an Eagle Scout in Philipstown Boy Scout Troop 437.
Kiosk Photograph. © 2015 John Griffiths.
Waldron, Finn. Finn Waldron Troop 437, Eagle Scout Project: The Garrison School Kiosk. Garrison, NY: Finn Waldron, 2015. Print.
GARRISON -- A team of 25 enthusiastic and hardy volunteers installed metal trail blazes and cleared five trails within the Garrison School Forest on Trail Blazing Day, held on Saturday, November 1, 2014. The 185-acre Garrison School Forest is a living laboratory for students of the Garrison Union Free School.
Students past and present, parents, and friends from the Garrison community worked together to blaze and clear the Beckwith, Blueberry Swamp, Cannon, Saddle, and Sloan Carriage trails, which wind through beautiful woods, ridges, ravines, swamps, and a meadow. The School Forest contains the ruins of the South Redoubt, a Revolutionary-era fortification that was part of the outer ring of the defenses of Fortress West Point, located directly across the Hudson River.
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