Green Schoolyards America is proud to feature Living Schoolyard Month celebrations that were held in May across the state of California. If you celebrated and would like to be featured here, send photos and a brief description to info (at) greenschoolyards (dot) org. —GSA
New Horizon School (NHS) Pasadena held its “Let’s Get the Garden Started!” Groundbreaking event May 1st to launch its Peace Garden. Mayor Bill Bogaard, in his final year as mayor of Pasadena, spoke at the event which was attended by several members of the Pasadena community as well as the 200 students of the school, parents, faculty, staff and Board members of New Horizon. The morning began with a Garden Launch Assembly followed by a Buddy Walk to the Garden (students in different grade levels paired together), a symbolic Groundbreaking and Student-led Garden Vision Tours.
Inspired by the school’s theme, “Growing Peace One Child at a Time,” the NHS Peace Garden is being established as an outdoor learning space that will cultivate deeper academic learning, spiritual inspiration, interfaith community-building and improved health through four main goals:
- STEM Proficiency (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
- Environmental Stewardship & Nature Appreciation
- Healthy Communities
- Farm-to-Table produce
Based on contributions of students and faculty during the design phase, unique features of the Peace Garden include:
• Salam Path (a walkway in the form of the Arabic word for peace)
• Peace-by-Piece Mosaic Wall with peace written in different languages
• Friendship Fountain (tiles honor friendships within the community)
• Contemplation Corner (for meditation and prayer)
• Silk Road Herb Garden (connects with 7th Grade World History course)
• Native Plant Garden (teaches students about water conservation)
• Plants from the Qur’an and other holy texts
The school is also inviting local artists to contribute ideas for incorporating art into the garden especially for the Salam Path, the Peace Wall, mosaics for the Friendship Fountain, the entryway, etc.
Other partners in the school’s garden or interfaith programs attended including Weizmann School, Peace and Justice Academy, and Netiya. Gerold Phillips, field rep for Assemblymember Chris Holden, acknowledged the school’s work in environmental stewardship with a special proclamation. Mrs. Azmeralda Alfi, of Aldeen Foundation, benefactor and founder of New Horizon School, participated in the morning’s activities and will be sponsoring one of the garden’s features, the Contemplation Corner. Rhonda Stone, the field representative for the new mayor, Terry Tornek, was in attendance.
Contributed by Iesha Wadala, Garden Coordinator, New Horizon School.
Photos by New Horizon School