A look at Planting and Landscape Day, April 27th, 2013
A very grateful “THANK YOU” to all those who chose to spend a gorgeous Saturday, April 27th at our Community Planting and PTA-Sponsored Clean-Up Day! We think the results speak for themselves. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see the dramatic before/after pictures!
The first part of the new Curriculum-Enhancing Interactive Conservation Garden was made possible by a Montgomery County RainScapes grant, the successful Spring Fling Auction, the PTA and generous donations to the Landscape Legacy Fund.
Dan Somers from Montgomery County RainScapes taught students and parents great tips on installing plants and the benefits to the environment of planting a conservation garden filled with native plants. Master Gardener Debbie Friedman of Bethesda Garden Design went above and beyond to create and help us implement a masterful and educational landscape design.
Dorothy Chung, Foundation Director and Co-Chair of the Foundation's Landscape Legacy Project, and her helper put up sign made by Seven Locks students for Planting Day. This event (April 27) was sponsored by the Seven Locks Elementary School Educational Foundation (SLESEF) and helped by the Seven Locks PTA.
Sandy Vogelgesang, one of the Foundation Board Directors, brings exhibit on new Landscape Legacy Project to Planting Day.
Dan Somers (or "Mr. Dan"), Montgomery County RainScapes Program, and Debbie Friedman, Montgomery County Master Gardener and landsape designer, make new "conservation education" landscape possible at Seven Locks Elementary School! Thank you!!!
Debbie Friedman, Master Gardener, takes the lead on Planting Day -- placing every plant and rock for installation around the school entry and new school sign.
Young volunteer makes friends with Ziggy, the Master Gardener's dog.
Seven Locks volunteers gather around "Mr. Dan" of RainScapes Program to get their gloves and trowels.
"Mr. Dan" talks with one group of volunteers before they start planting.
Mr. Dan telling students about native plants and how to install them.
Mr. Dan instructing new planters.
Mr. Dan of RainScapes Program shows how to dig right size hole for plants.
Seven Locks student listens carefully to what Mr. Dan says about planting new flowers.
Dan Somers, RainScapes Program, instructs high schoolers who came to help for the day.
High school student, trained by RainScapes, then helps train new planters and earns community service points.
Father and son set to plant!
Father and son install new grasses that reflect C & O Canal theme in the garden.
Two set for some fun in the new garden!
Determined gardener heads to planting bed.
Carl Bencal, Seven Locks Elementary School Principal, along with a second grader and her mom, are ready to help plant the new garden.
Busy planters on Planting Day!
Seven Locks student gently installs new native plant.
Seven Locks Principal Carl Bencal, PTA president Kip Young and 3rd grade helper on Planting Day.
Seven Locks Principal Carl Bencal (center rear) and Dan Somers, RainScapes Program (right), and volunteers take a break for a photo op.
Seven Locks Second Grader putting on gloves for some serious gardening.
Seven Locks student gardeners disiplaying perfect teamwork!
Student digging the perfect new hole for her plant.
John Manning, Seven Locks Educational Foundation Director, and Debbie Friedman, Master Gardener, take a break from hectic day of planting.
Planters install new river oats that reflect the C&O Canal theme of the new Seven Locks garden.
Dan Somers, RainScapes Program, checks on next step for planting.
Father and son decide what to plant next.
There's a flurry of planting activity after getting instructions from RainScapes instructor.
Lots of planters make it possible to install more than 300 plants in one day and lead to a dramatic transformation of the front of Seven Locks School as well as interior courtyards!
Series of Before and After Pictures shows the change made in just one day. BEFORE PHOTO - New school sign before planting on April 27
AFTER PHOTO - New school sign with new landscaping including native plants, grasses, and river rocks - reflecting C & O Canal heritage of Seven Locks Elementary.
BEFORE PHOTO - Right side of school entry before planting.
AFTER PHOTO - Right side of school entry, as face the school, after installing new redbud tree and plants.
BEFORE PHOTO - Left side of school entry before planting.
AFTER PHOTO - Left side of school entry with planting and new birdbath planter.
AFTER PHOTO - Left side of school entry, with detail of planting and newly installed bird bath planter.
BEFORE PHOTO - Additional area on left side of school entry.
AFTER PHOTO - Left side of school entry (facing school), with new planting and stepping stones to enable student interaction with the "conservation education" garden.
AFTER PHOTO - Left side, detail: Stepping stones lead to stone bench decorated by Seven Locks children.
AFTER PHOTO - Another view of stone bench and pathway on left side of school.
BEFORE PHOTO - Main first floor courtyard large cutout with drains that would clog with mulch in previous rains.
AFTER PHOTO - Main first floor courtyard after installation with river rocks and perennials and planter birdbath. Clogging drains solved!
AFTER PHOTO - Close-up of birdbath found in storage and turned into a planter.
BEFORE PHOTO - Main first floor courtyard smaller cutout.
AFTER PHOTO - Main first floor courtyard smaller cutout wtih river rock edge to contain the mulch, mosaic stepping stones made by previous Seven Locks students (found in storage) and perennials and annuals.
BEFORE PHOTO - Main hallway light well (right side) with mulch threatening to clog drain during rains.
AFTER PHOTO - Main hallway light well after replacing mulch with river rocks, bringing statue out from storage and installing mosaic bench made by previous Seven Locks Students.
BEFORE PHOTO - Main hallway light well (left side) with mulch threatening to clog drain during rains.
AFTER PHOTO - Main hallway light well (left side) after replacing mulch with riverstone.
Foundation Directors and spouses, Wavelie (maintenance engineer at Seven Locks), and past, present and future Seven Locks students pose for photo after work is done on Planting Day. Tired but happy!
"Special Thanks" to all who helped make Planting Day at Seven Locks Elementary School such a success!
The new landscape not only fits with the C&O Canal theme of the school, but also provides an interactive and curriculum-enhancing addition that is sure to benefit Seven Locks students well into the future. Thanks to Mr. Bencal for joining in the work and fun – and encouraging us not only to install the new landscape on each side of the school entry, but also provide related river rocks and plantings around the new school sign and large interior courtyard of the school.
We are also enormously grateful to local businesses for choosing to support our Planting Day and Spring Clean-Up. Those businesses include TriState Stone on Seven Locks Road, Giant Foods, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, as well as Dominos Pizza.
Watch for our yearly “Adopt-Our-Garden-for-a-Week” plan for keeping ahead of weeds and watering needs in the garden. We hope families will encourage student participation in the Adopt-Our-Garden Program as a way to encourage students’ stewardship of the garden.
The plants in the garden were chosen not only for their beauty, but also for their educational value. Did you know that Monarch Butterflies look for young butterfly milkweed to lay their eggs?
The landscaping so far is just part of Stage One of the Foundation’s Landscape Legacy Project. If you like what you see so far, consider a donation directly to the Landscape Legacy Fund. Let’s keep this project going! Funds would provide for continued maintenance as well as teacher requests for particular plants of educational value.
Stage Two of the project might include landscaping between the two parking lots and around the front fence. Special thanks to all those who have already contributed, including those who helped make the recent Spring Fling fundraiser a success. Without your help, we could not have launched the Landscape Legacy Program at Seven Locks!
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